Saturday 16 December 2017

Blood was pouring down stairs after body thrown over balcony, murder trial is told

Catherine O'Connor pictured at Cork Criminal Court
Catherine O'Connor pictured at Cork Criminal Court
Jonathan Duke
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A RESIDENT of an apartment complex rang gardai to tell them blood was pouring down the stairs and he had just seen a body being thrown over a balcony.

The revelation came on the second day of the murder trial of Catherine O'Connor (37), who denies the murder of father-of-one Jonathan Duke.

Ms O'Connor, of Bridge House, Sean Hales Place, Bandon, Co Cork, denies the murder of Mr Duke at Bridge House on November 13, 2011.

The strangled body of the young man was recovered from the River Bandon outside his home. It had been bound and bore over 60 different injuries.

It was found he had died from asphyxia with a secondary factor being a significant loss of blood.

On the second day of the Central Criminal Court trial, a '999' call was played to Mr Justice Paul Carney and the jury.

Retired garda David Herlihy confirmed he took the call at 11.06pm on November 13.

The caller introduced himself as Aaron Nolan of Bridge House, Bandon, and said a body had been thrown over the balcony of the premises.

"There is all blood going down the stairs," the caller said.

When the garda queried the information, Mr Nolan was heard replying: "(It is) Dukie, I think. I am not sure . . . we just seen the body flying over. Not over the bridge, over (the) railing to the garden. There is blood pouring all the way down from the apartments."

Tim O'Leary, for the State, said that Mr Nolan and his friend had been in bed in Flat 2 in the complex when they heard loud noises coming from Flat 3.

THUMP

Later, both men heard the sound of something heavy being dragged down the stairs with "a thump, thump, thump" sound.

They then looked out their kitchen window.

"They saw Ms O'Connor and another person throw what appeared to be a body over the railings. It doesn't naturally follow into the river because there is a pathway," he said. Both men then overheard comments being made as the individuals came back into the building.

"They (the occupants of Flat 2) very quickly walked or rather ran out into the hallway," he said. They spotted blood spatters in the hall. The men went to a nearby pub and Mr Nolan contacted the gardai.

Garda Kieran Murphy attended Bridge House and also spotted blood all along the entrance hallway.

Gda Murphy later found two individuals in Flat 3, one of whom the State contends was Ms O'Connor. The trial continues on Tuesday.

Irish Independent

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