Monday 18 December 2017

Computers and documents seized from family home

Elaine O'Hara
Elaine O'Hara

Sarah Stack and Andrew Phelan

ALMOST 220 exhibits were taken from the home of Graham Dwyer by gardaí investigating the death of Elaine O'Hara.

The Central Criminal Court heard that computer equipment, storage devices, financial documents and birth certificates were seized after the architect was arrested on October 17, 2013, a month after Ms O'Hara's remains were found in the Dublin mountains.

Mr Dwyer (42) denies murdering the 36-year-old childcare assistant on August 22, 2012.

Detective Garda Colm Gregan told the murder trial he searched two cars parked outside the family home property in Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, and seized a grey and black Northface jacket in the boot of an Audi A4 with a 03 D licence plate. In the house, he seized a filing cabinet which he examined back in the station 11 days later.

A letter from Mr Dwyer's son Sennan McShea, birth certificates for Mr Dwyer's youngest son and daughter, letters about salary cuts and pensions, and several invoices for car repairs were among the documents held, he said. The correspondence from A&D Wejchert architects on Dublin's Lower Baggot Street, where Mr Dwyer was a partner, showed he was earning over €87,000 in December 2011 before his pay was cut by €17,000 over six months.

Under cross-examination, Det Gregan told defence counsel Remy Farrell SC that he "honestly could not recall" if he has been asked to look for specific paperwork regarding Mr Dwyer's salary. Mr Farrell claimed it was quite apparent there were certain things, themes and items of interest and that items seemed to "have been airbrushed out of the case or fallen by the wayside" since then. He also said it was "no great secret" from the prosecution's opening that it was believed Mr Dwyer's pay cuts were relevant.

Det Gregan said he had taken hold of items he believed may or may not be relevant to the investigation, but couldn't remember why.

Mr Farrell questioned why the gardaí seized other particular items from the house, including cable ties and a wetsuit.

"I do recall something in relation to a wetsuit hat," Det Gregan replied. "It was relevant to the scene where the body was found or thereabouts."

Garda Seán Balfe confirmed he seized a Hewlett-Packard laptop, a Seagate hard drive and two media storage devices from a desk in the master bedroom.

A HP desktop PC, a small tube of Arnica cream from a beside locker in a child's bedroom, condoms, a grey tarpaulin, a backpack and a couple of rolls of duct tape were also among the 219 exhibits seized on the day, the court heard.

"One thing that doesn't appear in the exhibits chart, there is no reference to a shovel or spade being seized," said Mr Farrell, who later referred to a photograph of a spade in the back garden.

Irish Independent

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