Tuesday 12 December 2017

Dwyer at Elaine O'Hara's flat complex nine times, court told

Detective Sergeant Kevin Duggan leaving Central Criminal Court after he gave evidence in the trial of Graham Dwyer
Detective Sergeant Kevin Duggan leaving Central Criminal Court after he gave evidence in the trial of Graham Dwyer

Sarah Stack and Andrew Phelan

Architect Graham Dwyer was captured on CCTV with Elaine O'Hara at her apartment block the month before she disappeared, the Central Criminal Court was told.

The prosecution says the 42-year-old visited Ms O'Hara's flat complex in Belarmine Plaza, Stepaside, nine times over the eight months before she vanished. Yesterday a montage of CCTV clips from Ms O'Hara's apartment block in 2012 was shown to the jury.

Sergeant Kevin Duggan said gardaí compiled eight log books detailing every hour of the CCTV footage taken from the property between January 2012 and 26 August 2012.

He alleged that the last time Mr Dwyer visited there was on August 15, 2012 - a week before Ms O'Hara disappeared - with a backpack on his back.

Read more here: Graham Dwyer's family home was searched for more than a day 

A close-up image of the bag was shown to the jury next to a photograph of a rucksack retrieved from the Vartry reservoir at Roundwood, Co Wicklow, in September 2013. The rucksack retrieved from the reservoir had been found the same time gardai took cuffs, sex toys and Ms O'Hara's keys and glasses from the waterway.

Mr Dwyer (42), of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, pleads not guilty to the murder of Ms O'Hara (36) at Killakee, Rathfarnham on August 22, 2012.

The prosecution claims she was stabbed to death by Mr Dwyer to fulfil his sexual gratification.

Her remains were found by a dog walker in the Dublin mountains on September 13, 2013.

Read more here: Jury shown CCTV footage of Stepaside apartment block 

Graham Dwyer: accused of the murder of Elaine O’Hara.
Picture: Courtpix
Graham Dwyer: accused of the murder of Elaine O’Hara. Picture: Courtpix

For almost 30 minutes a packed Central Criminal Court watched clips of CCTV footage showing Ms O'Hara, a childcare assistant, entering and leaving her home on a range of dates.

The images were also said to show Mr Dwyer in the communal hallway on the ground floor of the block, either taking the lift or stairway upstairs where he appeared to remain for between one minute and one hour 14 minutes.

Mr Dwyer was arrested at home in Foxrock on October 17, 2013, a month after Ms O'Hara's remains were found.

Sgt Duggan, CCTV co-ordinator for the investigation, said when he met Mr Dwyer the following day he recognised him from the footage he had studied.

The first clips shown dated back to January 21, 2012, including one from 2.17pm.

Read more here: Diving mask and a condom among items gardai found 

"It shows the accused, Graham Dwyer, entering Belarmine Plaza," suggested Seán Guerin SC, prosecuting. "That's correct," replied the detective.

That day Mr Dwyer remained in the building 10 minutes and on April 6, 2012, he was in the premises just one minute, the prosecution claimed.

On June 3, footage shows Ms O'Hara arriving home just before 7pm and Mr Dwyer arriving 10 minutes later and staying until 8.18pm.

Elaine O'Hara
Elaine O'Hara
Elaine O'Hara
Elaine O'Hara's father Frank, her sister Anne Charles and brother John O'Hara at court. Photo: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

On June 26, Ms O'Hara was home when Mr Dwyer arrived at 5.36pm and left at 6.29pm.

Read more here: Graham Dwyer Trial: Architect was arrested at home a month after Elaine's remains discovered 

In one of the images - taken from July 9, 2012 - Mr Dwyer is seen walking in to the apartment block with Ms O'Hara at 5.02pm. He leaves at 5.40pm.

Other clips were taken on July 11 and July 12, when Det Sgt Duggan claimed that Mr Dwyer appeared to take a second phone out of his pocket before entering the lift.

He told Mr Guerin that three minutes later Mr Dwyer stepped out of the lift and walked towards the letter box area.

Ms O'Hara arrived home 42 minutes later and "removes something" from the letterbox, Sgt Duggan claimed, before she walked to the lift which what appeared to be a mobile phone.

Footage also showed Mr Dwyer at the apartment block on August 13 and August 15, both times carrying a bag. Sgt Duggan said he never saw anyone else carrying the rucksack in or out of the apartment building on any of the CCTV. The last set of clips shown were of Ms O'Hara on the day she was last seen alive - August 22, 2012.

Read more here: Graham Dwyer Trial: Architect visited Elaine's apartment block a week before she disappeared, court hears 

Earlier, Garda Fionnuala Whelan, who gave evidence previously, was cross-examined by defence barrister Ronan Kennedy about a condom found in an area near to where Ms O'Hara's body was found.

She said a condom and wrapper had been located at 12pm on September 16, 2013, and marked with a brown paper evidence bag but it was not seized until September 21.

Mr Kennedy put it to her that in a statement, she had said that two condoms and a wrapper were pointed out to her on September 16 and she seized them and placed them in an evidence bag. "That was an error on my part," she said.

"It's a pretty substantial error," Mr Kennedy said.

The trial continues.

Read more here: Bondage cuffs found, then three days later a human jawbone 

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News