Sunday 18 February 2018

Gardai investigating missing person's case found man's body in a ditch, murder trial jury hears

A knife was recovered from the ditch
A knife was recovered from the ditch "further along from where the body was found," the court heard.

Alison O'Riordan

A murder trial jury has heard that gardai investigating a missing person's case found a man's body in a ditch "partially submerged in water and partially clothed."

Michael Kinsella (22), with addresses at Swiftbrook Close, Tallaght and Ardkeen in Cavan has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Adil Essalhi (29) on January 6, 2011.

His uncle Wayne Kinsella was convicted of killing Mr Essalhi in 2012.

Last week Mr Kerida Naidoo SC prosecuting, told the Central Criminal Court jury of seven men and five women that it was the State's case that the killing was done by two people.

Prosecution counsel today called Sergeant Patrick Flynn who was stationed at Rathcoole garda station on January 13 2011 when he conducted a search in the "open corn fields" near the Plaza Hotel in Tyrellstown in Dublin 15.

The court heard Sgt Flynn was aware at the time it was an investigation into a missing person.

"I located the body of a young man in the drain, it was partially submerged in water and partially clothed. About 7/8 yards in from the drain I discovered a green sheet," said Sgt Flynn.

Sgt Flynn told counsel that the search continued on the following day, when he found a "black wallet with a photo of a child".

Sergent Anne Ellis from Cabra garda station was then called to give evidence by counsel and she told the court she was aware at the time a person's remains had been found in the area.

The court heard that a garda stationed at Store Street Garda Station had an individual in the car whom she now knows to be Wayne Kinsella.

"He (Wayne Kinsella) indicated he had information where there may be a body so I walked with him to an apartment and he climbed over a gate to allow me access. Once he opened the gate we went to the steps of a balcony outside an apartment and he said to me do you see the trees, pointing out to where the football pitches were," she said.

The court heard she had a conversation with Wayne Kinsella and he indicated to her an area she should search.

Defence counsel Mr Patrick Marrinan SC then asked the witness if Wayne Kinsella was "presenting himself" at that time that he had some information where the body could be located.

Sgt Ellis said he was.

"He said he got information from a male by the name of Jamie. He didn’t want people knowing I was a guard so he asked me to walk arm in arm with him. He was pointing to a very general area, it was quite a large area. He said he might be talking to Jamie that night and he would make contact," she said.

Counsel then asked the witness if Wayne Kinsella also indicated to her that the body might be burned and she said he had.

Prosecution for the State then called Garda Stephen Foley who was attached to the Water Unit in Santry Garda Station in January 2011.

Gda Foley told the court he attended a search in a field on January 14 2011 as a body had been located "semi submerged in a ditch".

The court heard he placed the body in a body bag and it was removed from the scene.

Gda Foley then told the court on January 15 2011 he recovered a knife from the ditch "further along from where the body was found."

"We made use of a metal detector and there was a knife submerged in approximately one-and-a-half foot of water, one could not see it from the surface," he said.

After lunch Ms Gemma Brady Deegan was called by the prosecution to give evidence.

Her mother, Ms Martina Deegan, previously gave evidence to the trial about events on January 6 and 7 2011.

The witness told Mr Naidoo that the deceased left the party in her house that night with Michael Kinsella and his uncle Wayne Kinsella.

Ms Deegan told the court that later in the evening she heard Wayne return to the house and he was in the kitchen "covered in blood."

"I didn’t see Michael Kinsella until a few minutes later and he came downstairs with my mam and Natasha Carey. He was quiet and his clothes were fine," she said.

Ms Brady Deegan told the court Wayne Kinsella left the house the next day with a can of petrol and the accused left with him.

When asked by defence counsel why she had previously lied about Michael Kinsella's involvement she said it was because she knew "Michael as a kid and he was like a brother to me".

"I did not want to believe he would do anything like that," she said.

"Is it purely a coincidence that three people independently all gave accounts that Michael Kinsella was not involved in this in January 2011?" asked counsel.

Ms Deegan said she could not answer that.

The court heard that March 28 2011 was the "first time" his client Michael Kinsella was "put in the frame."

The trial continues.

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