Friday 20 April 2018

Graham Dwyer Trial: Man who had sex with Elaine says her interests were ‘extreme’

Mark Guerin went to Ms O’Hara’s house twice and she laid out restraints on a bed both times, court hears

Andrew Phelan and Sarah Stack

ONE of the men who had sexual relations with Elaine O'Hara after meeting her through an “alternative” website has said her interests were "extreme."

The Central Criminal Court heard Mark Guerin met Ms O'Hara twice at her home and she laid out restraints on a bed on both occasions, but had sexual relations once.

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

Mr Guerin said he last met her four to five years ago and her interests had involved "blood letting, humiliation and degradation" but he was "more into light kink".

He was giving evidence this afternoon in the trial of Graham Dwyer, who denies the murder of Elaine.

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: Elaine had sexual relations with a man she met on adult member website, court hears

Mark Guerin told the court this afternoon he was interviewed by gardai in relation to his use and membership of www.alt.com

Elaine O'Hara
Elaine O'Hara

He said he had not used the site for a number of years - around four to five years ago.

His username on the site was 'time2killindublin'. Prior to being approached by gardai, he saw a picture of Ms O’Hara in a newspaper and recognised her from contact they had through the website.

He was not able to recognise her username but since then, he said, he had recognised the helpmelearn name that the court heard earlier.

Mr Guerin he and Ms O’Hara made contact through the site and arranged to meet on two occasions.

Witness Robert Cullen Jones at court earlier today where he gave evidence in the trial of Graham Dwyer who has pleaded not guilty to the murder Elaine O'Hara in August 2012. Pic: Courtpix
Witness Robert Cullen Jones at court earlier today where he gave evidence in the trial of Graham Dwyer who has pleaded not guilty to the murder Elaine O'Hara in August 2012. Pic: Courtpix
Witness Robert Cullen Jones at court earlier today where he gave evidence in the trial of Graham Dwyer who has pleaded not guilty to the murder Elaine O'Hara in August 2012. Pic: Courtpix
Witness Robert Cullen Jones at court earlier today where he gave evidence in the trial of Graham Dwyer who has pleaded not guilty to the murder Elaine O'Hara in August 2012. Pic: Courtpix

On the first occasion, she was living close to Blackrock village at Ardmeen Lodge and he understood that she was living with other people but Mr Guerin did not meet anyone else.

They went to her address, which was effectively bedsit-style accommodation.

He agreed that they went into the sitting room area and sat on the couch, where Ms O’Hara “put stuff onto the bed.”

Mr Guerin remembered Ms O’Hara placing restraints on the bed.

“From being here today, I recognise the cuffs and chains from the photograph that was shown earlier,” he said.

The picture was shown again to the court and he said: “If not that, something similar.”

Read more: ‘No evidence’ Dwyer left work early on day Elaine vanished

Shown a picture of another set of cuffs, he said: “I recognise the first one more.”

The impression he got of her at the time was that she was a nervous person and not very affectionate.

“We talked quite a bit,” he said. “She was quite nervous and she spoke about her past and her situation.”

Asked if Ms O’Hara appeared to have had a “very low opinion of herself,” he replied: “very much so.”

The court heard Mr Guerin had told gardai Ms O’Hara spoke about a partner and marks on her abdomen that were not done by herself.

He was there for over an hour on that occasion and they did not have sexual relations at that time. They found they had different interests, he said.

Mr Guerin said Ms O’Hara got in touch again when she moved to Stepaside. She let him into her apartment and was in “very good form,” he said.

She was “quite excited” about the apartment and had just moved in. He helped her move some things and on this occasion, she again laid out some things on the bed including restraints, he said.

Mr Guerin said she also showed him a black rubber anal plug.

“She had three of those,” he said.

He agreed with the prosecution that Ms O’Hara had seemed “a bit embarrassed about it.”  She was in a “lighter mood” on this occasion and they had sexual relations.

“You both formed the view that your interests weren’t the same in terms of sexual preferences,” Prosecutor Sean Guerin said. “She was more into restraints, blood letting, degradation and humiliation, and you were more into wax play and light kink.”

The witness, Mark Guerin replied: “That is right.”

He agreed with Remy Farrell SC, defending, that he had concluded he and Ms O’Hara were not compatible for “play.”

He agreed that Ms O’Hara had “substantially” more extreme interests than him.

Earlier Robert Cullen Jones told the jury he met the 36-year-old childcare assistance through the website Alt.com, which he described as being for people who like being submissive or dominant, and those who like to “give control to someone else in a sexual way”.

Giving evidence this morning, Mr Cullen Jones said he and Ms O'Hara first met online around March 2011 when he searched through the website. They started texting before meeting up the following month.

The court heard members had to sign in as members for the site and Ms O’Hara’s profile was ‘Helpmelearn 36/F’ and his username was ‘Dublin_master’.

He said Ms O’Hara “would have described herself as submissive”.

Speaking quietly and slowly in the packed courtroom, Mr Cullen Jones agreed with Sean Guerin, prosecution counsel, that the pair made contact “fairly infrequent” over a couple of weeks before they met.

They had exchanged number and “mainly text messaged” before  they eventually met for coffee in Dundrum Shopping Centre for an hour.

“Towards the end of that time you agreed with Ms O’Hara to go back to her place?” asked Mr Guerin.

Mr Cullen Jones agreed.

They went back to her apartment in Belarmaine Plaza, Stepaside, where they had “sexual relations”, Mr Guerin said.

“That’s right,” Mr Cullen Jones said.

The court heard Ms O’Hara also told Mr Cullen Jones about her interests and previous relations, and that she liked being tied up.

“She did say that, yes,” he said, adding that they had not been involved in that element.

Two other men agreed with prosecution counsel that they must have made contact with Mr O’Hara through adult websites, but had little recollection of it.

Patrick McGurk said gardai contacted him after his number was found on Ms O’Hara’s mobile phone.

He had been a member of CollaredMe.com for a number of years, but he told the court he did not remember anyone on the site with the name “ChainedBrunette”.

However he agreed he had used the site to contact a woman from the southside of Dublin, he added.

Swedish national Kurt Ronnhuist agreed gardai contacted him about instant chat messages between him and Ms O’Hara on Alt.com in September 2010.

He told the court he had never met the person who sent the messages and he did not recognise her from a photograph shown in court.

Under cross examination, he agreed with Mr Farrell that Ms O’Hara had referred to him as “Sir” in the messages but he replied he was busy filling out an Excel sheet.

“When somebody in this context addresses you as sir it’s a submissive context,” Mr Farrell asked.

“Yes,” he replied, agreeing it was in relation to BDSM fantasy.

The court heard the phone number of another man, Sean Byrne, was found on Ms O’Hara’s mobile phone and he agreed it was “more than likely” that he contacted her, although they never met and he did not remember her.

Gardai contacted him after finding his number and when they showed him Elaine’s photograph he recognised it from having seen it in the newspapers.

The court heard he was a member of the site www.fetlife.com and his username was “the strict one”.

He was also a member of www.alt.com where his username was “true master 10”.

Mr Byrne said contact would first be made through the site and then by phone. He did not know Ms O’Hara and never actually met her, he agreed with Mr Guerin.

Gardai asked him about the username “chained brunette” and this did not mean anything to him or ring any bells.

He was “pretty much sure” he had messaged Ms O’Hara but had not been sure at the time he made the garda statement. When he spoke to gardai about his contact with Ms O’Hara, he thought it was “more to do with fetlife.”

He agreed with Mr Farrell that there was a “fair number of Irish people” who have an interest in these sites.

The court later heard from Eamon Slater who confirmed that his mother had rented a flat to Ms O’Hara in a converted garage at Rockville Crescent in Blackrock.

Marie O’Brien then gave evidence that she lived at Ardmeen Lodge, also in Blackrock and rented a room out to Ms O’Hara on December 7, 2008.

She had not known her before that.

In cross-examination, she told defence barrister Ronan Kennedy she was aware that Ms O’Hara had self-harmed.

“She told me that, yes,” she said.

Ms O’Hara told her about a website she used but she did not remember the name.

Ms O’Hara told her at one point that she had met a guy and brought him back and they had a “very nice chat.”

Ms O’Brien said Ms O’Hara told her they had exchanged details but she was “a bit disappointed because maybe they hadn’t that much in common.”

Elsewhere Rowena Quinn, of Hunters Estate Agents in Dublin, told the court she was selling a property in Willow Park, Druid Valley, Cabinteely, in July 2011, and a registry showed 16 people were booked in to view it.

She said she had no recollection of speaking to Graham Dwyer in relation to the property.

There’s a period one can attend A&B certificate examiners course before you get your B certificate.

The trial, before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of seven men and five women, is expected to continue tomorrow.

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