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Graham Dwyer Trial: A 'sadistic and brutal pervert with nothing on his mind but murder' - prosecution


Graham Dwyer

Graham Dwyer

Graham Dwyer

GRAHAM Dwyer showed himself to be a "sadistic and brutal pervert with nothing on his mind but murder" in his text messages and documents, the Central Criminal Court has been told.

Prosecutor Sean Guerin SC asked the jury to take the accused at face value in what he alleged was an expression of an intention to kill contained in those texts and documents.

Mr Dwyer brought Ms O’Hara to the Dublin mountains to kill her after first coming up with a “carefully elaborated plan,” the Central Criminal Court heard earlier.

Mr Guerin told the jury in the murder trial the key elements of the accused’s plan included an isolated location and a “vulnerable” victim.

Mr Guerin was continuing to deliver his closing speech for the prosecution this morning.

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


Elaine O'Hara

Elaine O'Hara

Elaine O'Hara

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

The prosecution maintains he killed her to satisfy his own sexual urge to stab a woman to death.

Mr Guerin said he was this morning moving on to the question of how Mr Dwyer, as the prosecution alleged, “arranged to bring Elaine O’Hara to Killakee and his purpose in doing so, and in particular how what happened on that day fits into a plan that had been elaborated and thought about over a lengthy period of time by Graham Dwyer.”

He said there were three documents in particular that he wanted the jury to have regard to. These were the “Killing Darci” and “Jenny’s First Rape” stories that the jury had heard of and the text messages.

“There were a number of elements in the plan and issues that Mr Dwyer was clearly addressing in his mind,” Mr Guerin said, adding that there was a “degree of fluidity” to the ideas that were in his mind.

One of the clearest examples was the question of “do I bury the body or do I leave a crime scene?”

Another issue was the choice of victim - if it was not someone who was willing, “how does he find someone?”

Mr Guerin said an estate agent was considered, if she was young and attractive and the house was isolated, but there were problems with this plan.

Another was a possible random attack on a hiker, that “he would visit a car park somewhere like Killakee”; a car park at a popular hiking spot. It would be late in the day and if the last car in the car park was “girly looking”, perhaps the “victim” would be still out walking alone.

He considered matters such as how to disable an unwilling person, such as with a blow from a hammer, Mr Guerin continued. However, he said “that might be messy.”

Chloroform was something Mr Dwyer experimented with “I say with a view to using it to that purpose,” Mr Guerin said.

“There was a plan formulated and there were ideas in his mind,” he continued.

If there was no single coherent plan in the texts it was because there were “clearly options available,” Mr Guerin said.

“They indicate a number of options he considered with a view to addressing them and putting into place a plan that not only would work but would result in him not getting caught,” Mr Guerin told the jury.

“When you look at what happened and particular the way in which Elaine O’Hara was brought to where she was brought on August 22, 2012, you can see that what in fact happened was the implementation of a plan that had been elaborated to address all these issues.”

The first feature, he said, was that the location should be isolated to reduce the chances of discovery and of a crime scene ever being found.

“You can tick that box in relation to what happened to Elaine O’Hara,” Mr Guerin said.

He reminded the jury of the last message sent on August 21, stating: “going to check the scene now,” and the movement of Mr Dwyer’s phone at that stage.

The idea of an isolated location was not one that existed in a vacuum, he said, but was something that was closely connected to a forest location and that was another “box” that the jury could tick, Mr Guerin said.

He told the jury about the “three ways I can do it” that were suggested to Ms O’Hara in July 2012.

These included being stabbed and buried in the woods and her clothes left by the sea so it “looks like you drowned.”

Mr Guerin said this was not an exact account of what happened on August 22, but “it was very close to it.”

He said Mr Dwyer spoke of something other than a hammer that “involves less blood spray.”

“These are all parts of a plan that he was developing in the lead up to the 22nd of August,” he said.

One of the key elements he discussed with Elaine O’Hara was that the events and people at the location should be untraceable. He said the American woman, Darci Day had referred to the use of “track phones.”

When the question of suicide was being discussed with Ms O’Hara, Mr Guerin said, she texted “you are not available” and Mr Dwyer told her he had “an untraceable phone.”

Another element was that the person involved should be vulnerable and Mr Dwyer in a text referred to suicide statistics in Ireland.

“It was important to make the circumstances look like suicide,” Mr Guerin said, reminding the jury of a line in the “killing Darci” document in which her family would “look over the sea on the coast of Maine” and think of their daughter having died by suicide.

“There is a striking resemblance” to what happened in this case, Mr Guerin said, stating that Ms O’Hara had been told to go down toward the sea.

“It was a particularly unfortunate coincidence that her mother was buried close to the sea and the thought of suicide and the fact of suicide could be linked so close together,” Mr Guerin said.

He told the jury in the “Jenny’s First Rape” story, a hunting knife was part of the “tool kit” featured. Mr Guerin said a knife was ordered on August 17, 2012, days before Ms O’Hara’s disappearance and while arrangements were being made by text to stab her.

He said the prosecution was not making the case that this was the knife used to kill Ms O’Hara but it was “part of the tool kit being assembled.”

Mr Guerin told the jury to take several aspects of the case in to account including what happened to Ms O’Hara’s clothing on the day she disappeared.

He asked why her tracksuit bottoms and runners were moved away from her body and how did other items – including the top she was seen wearing on CCTV – end up in s reservoir close to where Mr Dwyer flew model aeroplanes.

He asked them to consider if the lack of blood on the bottoms meant she wasn’t stabbed to death, or if they were moved as part of a detailed plan.

He also reminded them how the accused’s wife, Gemma Dwyer, was adamant a spade found at a second location was one from their home and that a similar one still in their garden was not manufactured until February 2013.

“Gemma Dwyer says the spade in their house was the spade found up the mountain, she based her view on appearance of spade and paint splatters,” he said.

Mr Guerin said a forensic analysis showed the splatters of paint were similar in colour and composition to paint used on a fence in the Dwyer’s garden and that all the paints tested had minor differences their components.

He also referred to texts between the so-called Master and Slave phones in the days before Ms O’Hara was discharged from a mental health facility.

He claimed “suicide was repeatedly urged” and mentions of punishment and stabbing by Mr Dwyer, and while she reluctantly agrees to be part of a plan she begs for it not to be outdoors.

“I found a really really remote place, no one will find us," read one text.

“That’s the location and you know it’s a remote location,” said Mr Guerin, holding up a map of Killakee forest, adding how lands nearby have been harvested since then making it look less remote.

He said in the message Mr Dwyer assures her if anything happens to her he will appear in her Alt history.

Mr Guerin said Mr Dwyer’s presence in her Alt history was not extensive.

“For all of the planning and plotting he had no idea how fully the record of their conversations would be extracted from her iPhone and computer,” said Mr Guerin.

He said even if Mr Dwyer had known that, the key to case and what happened was on other two phones which he would shortly throw away in reservoir.

Mr Guerin argues at on August 22, 2010, Mr O’Hara was in fear of the punishment she was going to face.

He again read some of the final messages between the phone, up to her being told to “go down to the shore and wait”.

“All the elements of the plan, isolation, carefully selected location checked before, phones, made to look like suicide, blood spray... telling her she’d be back and to think it was real, pretend it was real, and disposal of evidence, everything points to this carefully elaborate and thoughtful plan being implemented on the day,” he added.

He asked how could Ms O’Hara have committed suicide and left Shankill when her car was still there, driven to Vartry reservoir, thrown personal items and the clothes she was wearing in, and made her way semi naked to Killakee.

“So instead she had the assistance of someone,” Mr Guerin said.

“Graham Dwyer suggested someone helped her and disposed of her belongings.

“Who was that person?? You can’t get away from the fact that person was Graham Dwyer as he made the arrangement to meet her through the phones and checked the location the previous evening.

“If Elaine O’Hara had been suicidal he would have been more than happy to help her.”

Mr Guerin conceded that not everything pulled out of the reservoir was connected to either of them – like the Real Madrid dressing down, pink underpants and a mattress – but he said it was too much of a coincidence that the bag Mr Dwyer was seen carrying out of her apartment on August 15 was in the reservoir with her clothing, glasses, keys, the phone she uses and items of a sexual nature which came from her apartment.

He added that the man she was meeting had no interest in football or Real Madrid, his only interest was model aeroplane flying and stabbing.

Mr Guerin said the jury also have to ask if they believed she was genuinely suicidal at the time, and if she intended to act on it.

He said while she was suicidal in the past and had acted on it, she had admitted herself to St Edmundbury Hospital in July 2012, and was looking forward to the immediate future, including volunteering at the Tall Ships festival.

“When she left (her father Frank) that day she was in extremely good form, when leaving she needed to get rest as she was up early the next day,” Mr Guerin said.

Mr Guerin went in to great detail about what Ms O’Hara’s mental health over the years, including that her therapist had noted she was cheerful, spontaneous, smiling, happy and excited about the Tall Ships the day before she disappeared.

“It’s a matter for yourself and bring to bear the experience you all have of life,” he said.

“The tragedy of suicide may have touched some of your lives or someone you know. We can’t say one thing or a number of things point to suicide but probably, the most defining feature, is a loss of hope and a loss of sense of future and anything to look forward or contribute in future.”

He added that while Ms O’Hara was nervous about the Tall Ships and going back to school, she enjoyed working with children, who were important to her, and wanted to see her niece.


Speaking about whether Ms O’Hara could be said to have been suicidal, Mr Guerin said in a text she had said she was scared about getting a permanent tattoo and what effect that might have on her in the years to come.

In asking her if she was “happy going on like this forever,” Mr dwyer was “pushing her towards the edge,” Mr Guerin said.

She told him “it’s not going to happen soon,” Mr Guerin said, telling the jury: “she is not going to allow herself to be killed.”

She said while she was in hospital, Mr O’Hara told Mr Dwyer she “just wants a normal” master/slave relationship.

“They are clearly thinking about different things,” Mr Guerin said.

He told the jury that when Mr Dwyer texted that he would “get into trouble if I don’t do it at this stage,” she told him: “What do you mean? It’s suicide” and that nobody would look into it.

Mr Guerin said Ms O’Hara was saying if she ever decided to let him do it, it would look like suicide, while Mr Dwyer was saying: “he desperately needs to do this.”

He said it had been on Mr Dwyer’s mind for 20 years and he had got to the stage where he was so agitated by the fantasy that he was going to do something that would get him into trouble.

Mr Guerin said in the “killing Darci” document Mr Dwyer spoke about sending money to facilitate that woman tying up loose ends.

“But look at what Elaine O’Hara was doing,” he said, telling the jury that she was talking about seeing relatives and had “not lost hope for the future.”

It was a “completely different situation,” he said, “she is thinking of the future.”

When she texted “I know what’s coming”, Mr Dwyer replied “What do you mean?” and Mr Guerin said “he appears to be worried that he’s been rumbled.”

Mr Guerin said the text messages in the final days, such as one saying she is “going to be in a lot of pain later” clearly led her to believe that”it’s just going to be a punishment.”

Ms O’Hara asked if it was “going to be that bad” and again spoke about taking part in the Tall Ships Festival.

“She has not given up on life and hope,” Mr Guerin said.

On the last day of the texts, Ms O’Hara spoke about going back to her apartment later, and that she was worried about the rain. She asked if they would be late getting back and whether the recycling centre in Shanganagh would be closed.

“She is thinking about the very ordinary and practical thing, of getting back in time to collect her car,” Mr Guerin said. “Is that someone who was suicidal or is that someone who just wants to make sure she can get home and get a night’s rest?”

“Those are the unguarded words of Elaine O’Hara and those things speak more clearly to her state of mind than any other evidence in this case,” Mr Guerin said.

To suggest it was suicide was a “last desperate attempt” to convince people.

“When you engage with the evidence, I don’t know how you can say that Elaine O’Hara was suicidal on that day,” Mr Guerin said. “This is someone who had plans for the next day and that is not a suicidal person,” Mr Guerin said.

He then turned to the question of whether someone else killed Ms O’Hara. He said the evidence all told the that the person who had the phone was person who took Ms O’Hara up the mountain.

“The first question you should ask is who had the phone? That is the key to the case,” Mr Guerin said. “There isn’t anyone else other than Graham Dwyer who had the phone.”

He said Ms O’Hara had been looking for companionship and the text messages showed she “wasn’t finding it.”There was evidence of two men who had sexual relations with her.

He said it was up to the jury what to make of the evidence of the so-called second site in Killakee.

He said the jury had seen how information could be retrieved from phones and computers and asked: “Where is the information that suggests there was anyone else involved in the disappearance of Elaine O’Hara?” Mr Guerin said.

“Do you think that there was maybe some other mysterious person who showed up at Shanganagh?”

He asked if the “mountain of evidence” from the reservoir could be “blown away by the fact that a random pair of underpants and a dressing gown were found in the reservoir.”

A picture of the black, red and silver bag that was found in the reservoir was then shown again to the jury. Mr Guerin said the accused had been seen on CCTV leaving Ms O’Hara’s apartment complex with it.

He said the bag allowed the jury to say Mr Dwyer was connected from the “beginning, the middle and end” of the disappearance of Ms O’Hara.

“It’s an important part of the evidence and when Mr Dwyer told the gardai that he didn’t know anything about it he was telling a lie and it was another lie in a series of lies that he had thought long and hard about telling the gardai,” Mr Guerin said.

He said there was no contradiction of the texts, the movement of the phones or the nature of the relationship except for the lies that were told by Mr Dwyer to the gardai.

"I ask you to take at face value the unguarded and open expression of an intention to kill given by the accused man himself in the documents he wrote," Mr Guerin said.

“Those are the words of the accused man, if you are satisfied that it was Graham Dwyer who had these phones. The videos that he recorded were videos of his actions made by him, recorded by him, archived by him, the documents were the creation of his imagination, his desire, his fantasy. The text messages repeat those fantasies and desires and set out a plan."

“All I am asking you to do, ladies and gentlemen is believe that when he showed himself in those documents and texts to be a sadistic and brutal pervert with nothing on his mind other than murder, he was telling the truth,” Mr Guerin said.

He was speaking as he concluded his closing speech to the jury in the trial.

He told the jury if they accepted what was set out in the documents, and there was evidence to satisfy them that he was guilty of murder, he asked the jury to convict the accused.

Closing speeches in the trial continue today.

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