Monday 23 October 2017

Still no remorse from pitiless killer as he faces life in jail

Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Graham Dwyer swivelled his head towards Justice Tony Hunt and appeared to grin in sheer malice at him, crinkling his eyes.

He was patently furious at how the judge, freed from the confines of impartiality, had gladly seized upon the opportunity to vent everything that had been on his mind all along as he retrospectively pulled asunder the defence's case and then turned to Dwyer's own character.

Clearly not expecting this, Dwyer looked first taken aback and then arched in his seat like a cat, compressing his lips in clear displeasure.

Until this point, Dwyer had benefited from the proper assumption that he was "innocent until proven guilty" and had been treated most carefully by gardai, judge, legal team and jury alike in the interests of a fair trial.

This was his first taste of a tongue-lashing as a convicted murderer and it was quite obvious not only that he did not like it, but that his tremendous ego, as a bullying 'master' in the BDSM world and as a man who had preyed mercilessly upon vulnerable women, could scarcely tolerate it.

And yet he had no choice but to sit there and listen to what the judge - and by extension, everybody else - thought of him.

Graham Dwyer
Graham Dwyer

"So that's it -life it is," rapped out Justice Tony Hunt finally. It was an abrupt and somewhat informal start to Dwyer's life sentence and with a deep breath, this dangerous killer rose, squared his shoulders and headed off to resume his strange life behind bars and a horizon where blue skies do not feature.

The courtroom was packed to a capacity never seen before in the course of the trial and some avid onlookers proudly stated that they had begun to queue outside at 8.30am.

One woman even had the remarkable foresight to bring her own camp stool.

"I thought I'd seen it all but this beats everything," breathed a senior barrister as he glimpsed the hoards of impatient people waiting to enter as he left Courtroom 13 after another case.

But queuing had been a fruitless enterprise in any case because once the gardai, family members, friends and media were in place, there was hardly a seat left in the room for anybody else.

When the public got inside the door and realised this, their complaints about 'all these people' were bitter.

As he took his seat, Dwyer looked incredibly relaxed and fresh-faced.

Years seemed to have rolled away from him since the trial and to all appearances, he has settled into life in prison.

He looked healthy and somehow had even managed to become sun-kissed.

His hair was longer and looked a little lank and he was wearing his customary suit that he had worn throughout the trial.

His relaxed demeanour would have been remarkable if it wasn't so chilling.

"Why is he smiling?" an observer was heard to hiss in disbelief.

There was still not a sign of remorse for what he had done, even as he heard the Victim Impact Statement and how the O'Hara family had laid flowers in the sea a year after Elaine's disappearance, presuming that she had taken her own life.

The flood of questions still remaining for the O'Hara family left him completely unmoved.

His own faithful father, Sean, who had travelled up from Bandon, Co Cork, for the hearing was in his familiar seat closest to his son. Elaine O'Hara's father, Frank, his partner, Sheila Hawkins, Elaine's brother, John and sister, Ann Charles were in their usual bench.

The judge had invited the jury back as a form of 'closure' and just one juror stayed away.

Justice Hunt told them that he was surprised and delighted to see so many of them back.

It was only when the judge mentioned Dwyer's wife, Gemma, her 'pitiful' condition and the position she had been left in, with two young children, that Dwyer finally bowed his head and made some appearance of regret. At one point he even looked to be on the verge of tears and gazed steadily at the ceiling lights.

But it was still impossible to summon pity for the killer who had been so incapable of showing any pity himself.

Irish Independent

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