Sunday 18 February 2018

Elaine's family to tell of grief as Dwyer sentenced

Graham Dwyer
Graham Dwyer
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Architect Graham Dwyer will be sentenced to a mandatory life sentence today for the murder of childcare worker Elaine O'Hara.

The grief and emotional trauma Dwyer (42) inflicted on the O'Hara family by stabbing Elaine to death will be laid bare in a harrowing victim impact statement which will be read out in court.

Judge Tony Hunt had deferred sentencing after the jury found Dwyer unanimously guilty on March 27, to allow the victim impact statement to be prepared.

Dwyer has been held at Cloverhill Prison since his arrest in October 2013 because he was deemed a danger to women. But it is now likely he will be moved to a more high security prison, such as Arbour Hill in Dublin or the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise.

It is understood that Dwyer has been keeping a very low profile in prison.

Although he was placed on suicide watch after his conviction, he has now been taken off the high-risk list.

In the opening days of the trial, when he was also on suicide watch, lawyers for Dwyer had complained that he had been getting very little sleep because of the 20-minute interval checks by prison guards and had no bedding or pillows.

Dwyer - otherwise known as prisoner 88335 - has already been receiving regular visits from his father, Sean, who has stood by him, now and throughout his trial.

However, it is believed that Dwyer had recently become agitated in Cloverhill and was heard "talking gibberish" to himself in the confines of his cell as he begins to absorb the reality of his situation.

The victim impact statement, which will catalogue the suffering caused to the O'Hara family by Dwyer's preying on and eventual murder of Elaine, is expected to be harrowing and emotional.

It is the first opportunity the O'Haras will receive to inform Dwyer of the suffering he has caused.

Dwyer had been so confident that he would get off that he had arrogantly boasted to prison guards of an imminent 'Late Late Show' appearance and a fancy dinner with steak and wine.

Just 20 minutes before the jury found him unanimously guilty, Dwyer told prison officers in his holding cell: "I'm safe now."

Irish Independent

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