Tuesday 23 January 2018

Aoife trial sees CCTV film of site where body found

Robert Corbet being led into court earlier this week, inset left, Mr Corbet, inset right Aoife Phelan
Robert Corbet being led into court earlier this week, inset left, Mr Corbet, inset right Aoife Phelan

Natasha Reid

A MURDER trial jury has seen CCTV footage of a truck dumping 'filling gravel' at the site where a nanny's body was found buried eight to 10 feet underground on the accused man's property.

The footage from the morning after Aoife Phelan disappeared was shown to the Central Criminal Court yesterday in the trial of the 25-year-old charged with her murder.

Ms Phelan, from Portlaoise, was reported missing on October 26, 2012.

Robert Corbet, of Sheffield Cross, Laois, has pleaded not guilty to her murder.

However, he has admitted her manslaughter between October 25 and November 7, 2012 when her body was found in a barrel, buried in Capoley, near Portlaoise.


Garda Paul Wilson talked the jury through a compilation of CCTV footage captured on the evening of October 25 and the following day.

He said it showed Mr Corbet's jeep leaving his truck yard at Capoley around 8pm and a similar jeep passing Collier's Lane, Portlaoise 15 minutes later.

This is where Ms Phelan was last seen, and Gda Wilson said the footage appeared to show the jeep returning after collecting her. He also showed the jury footage of the truck yard from the following morning. One clip showed a van reversing into the area just out of shot, where Ms Phelan's body was found. The same van was then seen driving back into shot with its rear doors open.

A compilation of Mr Corbet's movements in Portlaoise later that morning were then shown. He made a purchase in a hardware store shortly after 10am, before going to the credit union.

He then made a purchase in Argos and went into another hardware store before driving in the direction of his home.


The next footage shown was captured at the Corbet yard at 10.36am and showed a truck.

"The truck reverses to the point on the map marked 'Body'," explained Gda Wilson. "It seems to have a load of filling gravel in the back."

The truck then unloaded its contents. "The driver exits and checks," added the garda.

Footage from the yard at about 3.15 that afternoon showed a forklift containing building material.

"It is seen moving in the direction of the map marked 'Body'," said the garda.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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