Saturday 16 December 2017

Graham Dwyer Trial: Elaine's laptop contained images of mutilated bodies and separate naked pictures of her

There were 16 image files with adult pornographic or BDSM content
Court hears details of 'outline of slave' document on computer
'Slavery is a hard lifestyle to endure, you are not just a sex toy but a complete package'

Andrew Phelan and Sarah Stack

ELAINE O’Hara’s computer contained downloaded images of mutilated bodies from a website, as well as pornography and separate naked pictures of her, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Detective Garda Brid Wallace, from the Garda Computer Crime Unit, said the images were found on the hard drive of Ms O'Hara's Apple laptop.

Elaine O'Hara
Elaine O'Hara
Elaine O'Hara

She was giving evidence in the trial of Graham Dwyer this afternoon.

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.

Ms O’Hara, a childcare assistant from Killiney, was last seen alive near Shanganagh Cemetery in Shankill that day.

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

The prosecution maintains Mr Dwyer killed her for his own sexual gratification.

Read more: Graham Dwyer trial: Sister of accused says she knows nothing of 083 mobile number

Led through her evidence by Prosecutor Sean Guerin SC, Det Gda Wallace said, when she examined the Apple laptop, she was looking for all types of files including still and moving images,

Sgt Wallace was also looking for internet activity generally, showing Ms O’Hara’s own usage of the computer for internet access and emails.

“The extraction would involve a lot of movie files, some mainstream and some of an adult pornographic nature,” she said.

There were 16 image files with adult pornographic or BDSM content, she said.

The folders all related to the user Elaine O’Hara. The files containing adult movies were in the folder Pictures, and a subfolder Private, or else in the folder Downloads, Det Gda Wallace said.

She agreed with Mr Guerin that most of the movie files had one or other of two logos from websites that clearly had BDSM-type content.

Graham Dwyer
Graham Dwyer

Apart from that, there were personal videos that contained things like sporting events and family gatherings.

These were in the folder Pictures and the subfolder Iphotolibrary.

The third type of movie file were mainstream movie or TV series, in particular CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) and NCIS, which the court heard was a drama about a naval investigation team.

Read more here: Message to Elaine read: 'Must get fit for murder'

In still image files, “you found a number of image files from a website of what were mutilated bodies,” Mr Guerin said.

“That is correct,” Det Gda Wallace replied.

She agreed that when she identified these it was not apparent what significance, if any, they might have.

There were a number of images of Ms O’Hara herself, some self-taken, and some taken by a different person.

“In some of them she was clothed and in others she is either partially clothed or unclothed,” Mr Guerin said.

Det Gda Wallace agreed.

“In one of the naked shots, you could see there was a mole on her right breast,” Det Gda Wallace added.

There was also a photograph of Ms O’Hara wearing a red hoodie and standing in front of a window, the date recorded as 2008-11-05. Metadata showed it had been taken with a Fujifilm camera.

Det Sgt Wallace confirmed she also recovered an image, which the jury was told was associated with Ms O’Hara’s profile on the adult website Alt.com.

That image, and several others, were put on a DVD by the detective and shown to the jury, Judge Tony Hunt, Mr Dwyer and each legal team on small computer screens, while the main monitors in the courtroom remained off.

Mr Guerin explained that other images appeared to show healed scars or marks around the mid torso, one in which a mole or birth mark was visible inside the right breast.

Det Sgt Wallace agreed documents were also recovered in a sub section of the laptop, including two PDF documents.

In a book file was the document “Serial Violence: Analysis of Modus Operandi and Signature Characteristics of Killers”, a book written by William Birnes and Robert D. Keppel, Mr Guerin said.

The book contained graphic images of mutilated bodies and crime scene photograph, the court heard.

Also retrieved was a Microsoft word document called “Letter to Stuart” which was created and printed off on April 1, 2010.

Mr Guerin said it appeared to be sent from Ms O’Hara’s previous address on Newtown Park Avenue, Blackrock, and included references to being very angry.

“Too angry now to go anything,” he read.

“All my thoughts are negative. I just don’t have the energy to do anything positive. When the anger goes down will make contact. This has to be done by me.”

Det Sgt Wallace said there appeared to be three versions of that document saved on the laptop.

Ms O’Hara also wrote another email to “Stuart” on June 25, 2012 in which she spoke of being angry.

It began: “Hi Stuart, I’m sitting here and I’m so mad at you. I know you are only doing your job.”

She went on to say that people had to make small talk or superficial talk every day.

“Are you ready for the day, giggle giggle?” she said, or “how was the Westlife concert?”

“See, I can do it, but I’m scared to go any further,” she said in the letter.

The letter also said that Ms O’Hara knew she needed help.

“I don’t like people shouting at me and making me mad,” the letter said. “I have had that all my life from everyone.”

“When I get mad it makes me want to hide away,” she said, adding that she cut herself “to release the anger.”

She also spoke of volunteering for the Tall Ships festival.

“I didn’t like your tone when you said I had to get out there and meet people,” she said.

She said she was doing this but it took confidence, which she was lacking.

She concluded by telling him she finds it hard to speak when she is mad so she thought she should write it down.

“I hope you don’t mind,” the letter ends. “Elaine O’Hara.”

The court heard there was also a document outlining a number of medical conditions and doctors.

A document found by gardai on Ms O’Hara’s computer entitled “outline of slave” referred to a “contract” for slavery, the court heard. The author of the document said slaves were “property, possessions, meat” and will “either be kept in a heavy duty steel cage or a locked cell in my cellars.”

The document was read out in its entirety to the jury by Mr Guerin.

The court heard the document was created at 7.54pm on September 18, 2010 and was last modified two minutes later.

Det Gda Wallace agreed that given the length of the editing time, it possibly originated somewhere else on the internet.

“I’m offering 24/7 sadistic and brutal treatment for masochistic slaves. Slaves are property, possessions, meat,” the document began. “They are loved as a pet or as a cherished car.

"They are not a wife or a mistress. Slavery is a hard lifestyle to endure, you are not just a sex toy but a complete package. You will be offered an annual slavery contract with no early release for any reason."

"You will either be kept in a heavy duty steel cage or a locked cell in my cellars," Mr Guerin continued to read from the document.

“If you’re good and collected merit awards, you will have a real bed with steel collar and chained in the room. Agreed limits will be in your contract and adhered to.”

“I prefer bi-sexual or bi-curious slaves but again if your sexual orientation is straight, you won’t be forced into bi-sexual roles," the document continued.

"I’m looking for a poly-slavery arrangement. After initial training to my standards you will be expected to work as a slave part-time in my restaurant.

"If you’re a UK National (Citizen) class 3 NI stamps will be paid.

You will be bought slutty outfits and a couple of dress outfits for formal occasions.

"I will not stand for breaking objects in a tantrum. It is the only thing that will result in a very, very severe flogging, " Mr Guerin read out to the jury from the document.

"I have plenty of Dom friends so expect occasionally to have no holds barred heavy use. My limits...no sex with children or forced use of drugs. Nothing will be done that will result in your death or very serious injury."

Mr Guerin said the document went on to say: "Slave or not, you are a person with just one life to live and you’re entering a consensual relationship. Having said that, unless listed on limits within your contract."

"Expect piercings, breast skewering, branding, breast suspension... I have most equipment and toys and can build more to suit individual sizes. I’m not here for online fantasies but the real thing.

"If you have a fantasy you would like fulfilled I will work out a practical way to achieve it. My aim is to create the perfect obedient masochistic slave.

"Slavery is about domination and control, sex is just part of it.”

Two other documents discovered in ‘private’ folders were recovered by Det Sgt Wallace and read to the court by Mr Guerin.

The first, created on April 15, 2009, was 792 words and long and – in the first person – gave a detailed account of being abducted by a man on the way to work, locked in the boot of a car before being held at a location where the person writing the piece was held in chains, whipped and knifed.

In it the writer graphically described how the pain “send shivers down my spine” and hear the blood dripping.

“All he could do was laugh and he started whistling,” it continued, with the author adding that he or she “must have been unconscious” before turning up at home two months later.

The editing time on this document was 44 minutes, the court heard.

The final document in the private sub folder called “mystory.doc” was created on November 5, 2011 at 9.37am and had zero editing time.

The partially written document had just 158 words and again, in the first person, told a story of being given a lift home from a party by a man who stopped the car, slapped the author in the face before grabbing his or her hair.

The driver told the author “I own you” before throwing the person in a cellar where he whipped the person and changed the chains.

Det Sgt Wallace told the court she believe that given the ‘zero’ editing time on the folder this was “originated from a different location”.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of seven men and five women.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

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

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News