| 22.3°C Dublin

Graham Dwyer Trial - Elaine’s brother: I think I found her user profile on fetish website

ELAINE O’Hara’s younger brother has told the Central Criminal Court he discovered the name of a fetish website on a notebook in her apartment after she disappeared - and found what he believed was her user profile on the site.

John O'Hara was giving evidence on the third day of the trial of architect Graham Dwyer, who denies the murder of Ms O'Hara, a childcare assistant.

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

Ms O’Hara, from Killiney, was last seen alive near Shanganagh Cemetery in Shankill.

Her remains were found by a dog walker in undergrowth in the Dublin mountains on September 13, 2013, more than a year after she disappeared.

Giving evidence this afternoon, John O’Hara also told the jury that he found printouts of two pictures of hunting knives during the search.

Mr O’Hara told the court he was at work on August 24, 2012 when he got a call from his father who was in Stepaside Garda Station.

He was brought out to Shanganagh, where his brother in law had found his sister’s car. They could not get into it at the time because it was locked and they called the AA. A garda patrol car was also driving around the area at the time looking around and they told the officers what they were doing.

Mr O’Hara said when the AA opened the car, he searched it and found her driving licence, a Sat Nav charger and phone charger in the glove compartment.

He also found the Sat Nav itself, as well as a Leap card, cigarettes, a lighter, shopping bags and receipts.

He checked the Sat Nav and found four addresses, including two that related to a wedding in Monaghan they had been to and another related to his sister's college. The  fourth was an address at a business park in Tallaght.

The AA man disabled the car and locked it again.

As the light was failing, the search outside was called off and he went with other family members to Ms O’Hara’s apartment.

He found a HP notebook that was different to his sister’s usual laptop. He opened it but it was password protected and he did not try to get into it.


Architect Graham Dwyer is accused of the murder of Elaine O’Hara  (inset), from Killiney, Co Dublin

Architect Graham Dwyer is accused of the murder of Elaine O’Hara (inset), from Killiney, Co Dublin

Elaine O'Hara

Elaine O'Hara


Architect Graham Dwyer is accused of the murder of Elaine O’Hara (inset), from Killiney, Co Dublin

He closed it and left it in the apartment, he told the court.

Mr Guerin asked if he had found any printouts from websites.

He replied that he had found two pictures of hunting knives. The printouts, presented in evidence, were of Buck Special Knife 119, with a 15.2cm blade. The other was a Buck Special 119 with a coca bola handle and a six-inch stainless steel blade.

There was also a map of a local golf course, Puck’s Castle.

Mr O’Hara said he had not had much interaction with his sister on social media.

During the search of her apartment, he found the name of a website on a notebook: www.fetlife.com

He looked this up on his phone and to see exactly what the website was. He showed the images to the gardai.

“It was a fetish lifestyle website,” he told the court.

Later on, around August 26, he logged on and created a username on the site to see if he could find any information about his sister.

He used search parameters such as gender and appearance and found what he concluded was Ms O’Hara’s profile. The username was Chained Brunette.

He told the gardai and closed down his user profile.

In cross examination, Elaine's brother told the court that his sister would introduce him to people as her "baby brother", she had never talked about her personal life and so he was completely unaware of that side of her private life until he discovered the address for the fetish website.

Mr O'Hara said he got on well with her and they would talk a lot about college as they were both studying.

When her car was discovered at Shanganagh, they were concerned that she might have come to some harm or "been grabbed" while she was at her mother's grave.

He said that when they had had the car opened by the AA, he was struck by a Motorola charger found in the glove compartment because she had an iPhone. However he thought it may have been an old one.

They had had the car locked and disabled so it would not be stolen.

At 6pm, they had joined a search for Elaine organised by the gardai and the Civil Defence along with friends and family.

Earlier her sister Anne Charles had given evidence that Elaine had told her that she had had a miscarriage the year before she disappeared but had "fudged" her questions.

Ms Charles said Elaine had phoned her in November 2011 and told her she had had a miscarriage in May.

She claimed she had become pregnant as a result of a one night stand.

Ms Charles said she had asked her sister how far along she was and who the father was but that "she fudged my questions."

"She said it was a result of a one night stand and wouldn't talk about it any further," she told the court.

Ms Charles described her sister - who was younger by two years as a "naive" person who would "tell a man on the street her life story."

They had been close as children but not particularly close as adults, she explained.

Elaine's psychological difficulties meant that she "acted quite young," she said.

"she never really grew up as much as the rest of us," she said.

"She was very naive, very trusting of people."

Ms Charles told the court how, on the night her sister disappeared, on August 24 2012 she had tried to phone her to say that she was glad she had come out of hospital. However, Elaine did not pick up.

The following day, her father rang her to say that he was worried about Elaine.

She went out to Stepaside garda station and met her father there.

Ms Charles tried to think where she could be and, knowing that Elaine had visited her mother's grave that Wednesday, rang her husband to ask him to "take a spin out".

He found the car parked close to the cemetery.

She went out there with her father and his partner Sheila Hawkins and they tried to get into the car but could not.

Under cross examination, she revealed they had contacted the AA who had sent a man out to open the car.

Remy Farrell, cross questioning asked if she was aware of any concerns that they had accessed the car in this way and Ms Charles said she was not.

They had searched an area of forestry close to where the car was parked, she told the court.

Shown photographs of soiled clothing, such as a white vest and a light blue hooded sweatshirt, Ms Charles agreed that they were clothes such as her sister would have worn.

Garda Brian Jennings of Dundrum station told the court he had been given an apple laptop, an iphone which had belonged to Elaine O'Hara and brought them to the Computer Crime Investigations Unit at Harcourt square for examination.

However he said that from his memory, he had viewed CCTV footage of Elaine leaving the apartment block and that it had looked like she had another, smaller mobile phone in her hand, like an old Nokia, he told the court.

Garda Neil Doyle of Dun Laoghaire Station told the jury he was off duty when noticed Ms O’Hara’s green Fiat Punto parked on the roadway near the cemetery in Shanganagh on August 23, 2012.

Later that day, he began working at about 4pm and later, he thought about the vehicle again and returned to where it was at 12.53 on August 24.

The car was still there and he ran a check but there was “nothing untoward” about it - Ms O’Hara was the registered owner and it was taxed and insured. However, he said it was quite unusual for it to be parked there at that time.

The engine was cold and it was locked.In cross-examination, he agreed with Ronan Kennedy BL, for the defence, that the car would not have drawn any attention parked in that location until later in the day, when “it’s going to stick out like a sore thumb.”

Garda John Hayes gave evidence that he was involved in the search of Ms O’Hara’s apartment with three other officers at 7pm on August 25, 2012.

He received items including an iPhone with a broken screen, blue Fiat keys, Ms O’Hara’s passport, bank documents and a post office savings book.

There were also printouts from Google Maps and a website, Active Hunting Ireland. The exhibits were labelled and bagged and placed in a locker at Stepaside Garda Station.

Cross-examined by Remy Farrell SC, defending, Garda Hayes said he did not observe or find a rope. Neither did the other gardai.

Asked if anyone found a latex body suit, he said: “not that I’m aware.”

He said he would have been aware if it had been brought to his attention by anyone.

Mr Farrell said a body suit “seems to have been seen in the apartment the day before.”

Online Editors