Monday 20 November 2017

Graham Dwyer Trial: Gardai showed Graham Dwyer's son stills of CCTV taken at Elaine O'Hara's apartment complex

* Son of Graham Dwyer shown stills of CCTV footage to 'see if he could identify anyone'
* Up to 11 officers involving in analysing footage from Elaine's apartment complex, Central Criminal Court told
* Accused identified by gardai on CCTV review eight days after Elaine O'Hara's body found

Andrew Phelan and Sarah Stack

GARDAI showed Graham Dwyer’s son stills of CCTV footage taken at Elaine O’Hara’s apartment complex “to see if he could identify anyone,” the Central Criminal Court heard.

Sennan McShea was shown the images and signed the backs of ones he was “most confident about,” a garda told the jury.

Detective Garda Paul Corcoran was giving evidence at the trial of Graham Dwyer today.

The accused (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, South Dublin.

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

Graham Dwyer
Graham Dwyer

Det Gda Corcoran told the jury he took over the role of family liaison officer from September 18, 2013 and was also responsible for dealing with the continuity of exhibits.

Led through his evidence by barrister Anne Marie Lawlor, prosecuting, Det Gda Corcoran said on September 19, he received a box of photographs from Frank O’Hara, Ms O’Hara’s father. A crime scene officer took fingerprint lifts from these.

Read more here: Graham Dwyer Trial: Accused had wages cut twice in year before arrest

On September 20, he received a red journal from Mr O’Hara and on October 1, a box of keys and a single house key.

On October 18, he received three phones from a woman - a HTC phone, a black Samsung and a silver Nokia.

On October 18, he showed a number of photo stills to Sennan McShea, a son of Graham Dwyer, from the CCTV footage from Belarmine Plaza.

Ms Lawlor asked him what the purpose of this was.

“We were aware that Sennan McShea is the son of Mr Dwyer,” Det Gda Corcoran replied. “The purpose of showing them to him was to see if he could identify anyone in the stills that were in the booklet.”

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

Asked if Mr McShea was shown a still so he could identify his father, Det Gda Corcoran replied: “He would have been shown all the stills in the booklet and he would have identified the ones he was most confident about.”

Mr McShea signed the reverse of a number of photos.

The court heard photographs of a blue hoodie and vest found by gardai was shown to Elaine O'Hara's sister Ann Charles, her father and his partner Sheila Hawkins.

“They were in a position to say it was clothing that they were happy to say that she would have worn,” Det Gda Corcoran said.

He also agreed that he had received email correspondence with Ms O’Hara’s Montessori College and St Edmundsbury Hospital, where she was a patient. He also received her exam timetable.

Sgt Ryan O’Keeffe told the court he compiled several montages of CCTV from Belarmine Plaza, including separate ones of Mr O’Hara’s movements and any sightings of Mr Dwyer.

He said these were compiled “purely for ease of viewing and cuts down on a lot of time”.

“It makes things easier,” he added.

“We took the CCTV of interest, took a montage in chronological order.”

The first montage – compiled in September 2014 - related to six clips of Mr Dwyer at the apartment, while a second featured Ms O’Hara.

He said these were put together in chronological order to make a third montage.

He agreed with prosecution barrister Anne-Marie Lawlor that in January 2015, as gardai continued to view large volume of CCTV, it “revealed three more sightings” of interest of both parties.

These were included in a fourth montage and the garda created a fifth montage, which was shown to the court.

Under cross examination he told Mr Kennedy he was satisfied the montages were an exact replica of the footage he watched.

He was also asked why, on August 22 2012, Ms O’Hara appeared to exit the building without exiting the lift first.

“The best explanation was it was motion sensor recorded and camera might not have kicked in,” he added.

Ms Lawlor then read four uncontested statements in to the record from gardai who had been involved in copying, watching and logging CCTV footage, including making a note when anyone entered or exited Belarmine Plaza.

Garda Mark Bergin said he handed over a number of exhibits to colleagues, including fingerprints, reading glasses and still photographs.

Garda Keith Gantly told Ms Lawlor he was conducting a checkpoint at Shanganagh Park, Shankill on August 29 and 30, 2012. This was in relation to the missing persons investigation, during which flyers had been put up.

On August 30, he met Conor Gilfloyle, who indicated to him that he had been shown a flyer by another garda and recognised Ms O'Hara's picture.

He ran in the area regularly and recalled seeing her. He could not remember the date but could find out from a running app he was using.

Garda Gantly said Mr Gilfoyle recalled he had been running when Ms O'Hara asked him the directions to the railway bridge.

After directing her, he saw her again and was going to speak to her but "stopped short because she looked distant."

He later contacted the gardai with further details of the time he saw her and to say he was "100pc sure it was Ms O'Hara."

Garda Gantly said he made enquiries about CCTV footage in the area but was told that one of the two cameras was not working and there was no CCTV evidence available that would assist the investigation.

Earlier today Sergeant Kevin Duggan, the CCTV co-ordinator, told the Central Criminal Court said up to 11 officers were involved in analysing the footage and they first saw Mr Dwyer on it in September 21, 2013, some eight days after her body was discovered.

He was being cross examined this morning by barrister Ronan Kennedy, for the defence.

Read more here: Dwyer arrested answering door 

The jury was shown footage of Ms O’Hara’s movements at her apartment complex at Belarmine Plaza, Stepaside on the day she disappeared. This had been previously seen by jury. In the video, her car was seen leaving the complex car park at 5.06pm.

Sgt Duggan said he was appointed on September 18, 2013,and collected two hard drives from Garda Headquarters the following day.

He told Mr Kennedy Garda James Codd had been in charge of the hard drives up to that point. Asked if he anyone told him that they had been unable to view any footage on the CCTV before that, he said: “no.” He was not aware of what colleagues had done with the footage.

Read more here: Jury shown CCTV footage of Stepaside apartment block 

He said he set about reviewing the footage within a couple of days of getting it. Engineer Padraig Finnerty set up viewing of the footage at Dundrum Garda Station on September 20 and there were “problems” with it at that stage, Sgt Duggan agreed.

The footage had been cloned, was not in chronological order and it seemed some was missing. Mr Finnerty and installed the same system that it had been recorded on and Sgt Duggan said this solved the problems.

A log was kept by the gardai viewing it and apart from Ms O’Hara and Mr Dwyer no other person was identified in it.

Read more here: Graham Dwyer's family home was searched for more than a day 

Sgt Duggan agreed that a lot of people used the complex as there were 30 apartments and it was only noted whether other people were male or female.

There were “hundreds if not thousands of entries” and no other descriptions were made.

The log showed on September 21, Mr Dwyer was spotted for the first time.This was on footage for June 23, 2012.

Sgt Duggan agreed they then “worked backward” to see if there were any further sightings of Mr Dwyer.

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

Read more here: Dwyer at Elaine O'Hara's flat complex nine times, court told

Mr Kennedy asked Sgt Duggan why the person who viewed footage on June 29, 2012, had written “unable to view” eight times in a log book.

He also questioned why Sgt Duggan had left the jury with the view that there was no difficulty viewing any of footage.

“I was absolutely in charge of all CCTV footage and that was and is the case right up to this particular book. I will stand over that absolutely,” he replied.

The tape was view in December 2014 or January 2015, the court heard.

Sgt Duggan said that he was transferred from Dundrum Garda Station on December 10, and up to that point there had been no difficulty viewing any footage.

He told the court he remained in full supervision of the CCTV footage and that no one had brought any difficulties about watching certain hours to his attention.

From the handwriting, he knew the entries were made by Garda Mick Lynch, he said.

Sgt Duggan also told the court that whole most of the footage from the communal hallway was form camera four, cameras one and two also covered staircases and lifts to Ms O’Hara’s apartment  - number 97.

Each floor had a long corridor with 10 apartments on each floor and a stairway at each end, he said.

“Is it possible to go in one doorway and out the other,” Mr Kennedy asked.

“Absolutely,” the officer replied.

Yesterday, the jury was shown CCTV footage of the architect calling to Elaine O’Hara’s apartment complex nine times, including one visit that happened a week before she disappeared.

The CCTV footage from Belarmine Plaza, Stepaside was dated between January and August 2012 and was shown to the jury by Det Sgt Kevin Duggan.

Among the footage played back to the Central Criminal Court was a brief clip of Mr Dwyer and Ms O’Hara arriving together in the lobby of building before taking the lift.

Read more here: Diving mask and a condom among items gardai found 

It showed Mr Dwyer entering the lobby, taking either the lift or stairway up, and leaving there between a minute and just under an hour and 15 minutes.

The footage also showed him carrying a red and black backpack, while the jury was shown at the same time a picture of a muddy red and black backpack recovered by gardai from Vartry reservoir, Co Wicklow.

Read more here: Jury shown CCTV footage 'of accused visiting Elaine's apartment block 9 times' 

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