Sunday 25 February 2018

Dwyer led gardai to hunting knife in basement

Detective Sgt Peter Woods: hand-sketched map.
Detective Sgt Peter Woods: hand-sketched map.

Sarah Stack and Andrew Phelan

A hunting knife and a flick knife were found in the basement of Graham Dwyer's workplace four months after his arrest, the Central Criminal Court was told.

Detective Sergeant Peter Woods said Mr Dwyer voluntarily sketched a map for officers investigating the death of Elaine O'Hara showing exactly where the knives were in file boxes in the basement of his office.

The court heard detectives had placed "huge emphasis" on not being able to find the Buck Special 119 hunting knife, during the probe.

The €95 Buck special had been delivered to Mr Dwyer's work marked "Private and Confidential" the day before Mr O'Hara disappeared in August 2012, the jury heard.

Filing boxes

Det Sgt Woods said a hand sketched map was faxed to officers "on the initiative of Mr Dwyer and his solicitor" on February 17, 2014, pointing to two magazine-holder style filing boxes on a top shelf in the basement of A&D Wayheart Architects on Dublin's Lower Baggot Street.

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

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

Defence barrister Remy Farrell said his client had been charged in connection with the case on October 18, 2013, but when the book of evidence was served in January 2014 it became apparent that gardai were "attaching significance" to the knife being bought online.

Under cross examination, Det Sgt Woods said the fact it was delivered on August 21, 2012, was "hugely significant" for investigators.

Mr Farrell said gardai, including Chief Superintendent Diarmuid O'Sullivan, had "placed huge emphasis" on the knife not being found.

"Yes," replied Det Sgt Woods.

The map, shown on screens to the jury, was accompanied by a list of "items of interest", Det Sgt Woods said.

It showed a plant room to the right, an area where photographs were stored, a desk, software underneath it and a filing area with an asterisk to draw attention to that.

Det Sgt Woods went with two other officers and spoke to a partner in the firm, Paddy Fletcher, who allowed them access.

"I found two knives, one larger than the other," Det Sgt Woods told Sean Guerin SC, prosecuting. "This is the knife I found (in the box). I found it in the leather scabbard in the file box."

He removed the silver-bladed, black handled knife from its black scabbard and held it up in both hands for the jury to see.

Mr Guerin said it was a "Buck Special" hunting knife while the smaller knife, also shown to the jury, was a flick knife with a lock on it.

Michael Fenlon confirmed the Buck hunting knife was purchased online from his outlet, Active Hunting Ireland, based in Gorey, Co Wexford, on August 17, 2012, and covered by a lifetime guarantee.

He told the jury there was a "comments" section on the website where a customer could leave a message.

"Please mark private and confidential, Graham," was written in the section, Mr Fenlon confirmed.

"That's the note by the customer."

Records showed this was signed for on August 21, 2012, he added.

Irish Independent

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