PATRICIA O’Connor’s granddaughter appeared to have been viewing Japanese cartoons and applying for a job in a clothes shop shortly after her grandmother was allegedly murdered, a jury heard.
Stephanie O’Connor’s “primary computer” was used to access “anime” videos and to email a CV to Primark after she was alleged to have dressed up as her grandmother to conceal her death.
One of the investigating gardai agreed with Stephanie's defence lawyer that while others in the house used the computer that was seized, the person involved at the time “appeared to be Stephanie O’Connor.”
Four people are on trial over Patricia O'Connor's death in 2017. Kieran Greene (34), then partner of her daughter Louise O'Connor, is charged with murder. Louise (41), her ex-partner Keith Johnston (41) and their daughter Stephanie O'Connor (22) are accused of impeding the murder investigation.
They all deny the charges.
Patricia O’Connor (61) was allegedly murdered on May 29, 2017 at the house at Mountainview Park, Rathfarnham she shared with family including Louise, Stephanie and Mr Greene.
Her dismembered remains were found scattered in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains between June 10 and 14, that year.
Stephanie O’Connor is accused of disguising herself as her grandmother after she died to pretend that she was still alive, while Louise is accused of agreeing to this.
Mr Johnston is alleged to have assisted Mr Greene in buying implements to use in the concealment of Patricia's remains, and to have refurbished the bathroom at the house to destroy or conceal evidence.
This afternoon, a number of garda witnesses were either re-called or gave evidence at the request of defence lawyers.
Detective Garda David Connolly said on December 21, 2017, he asked the manager of Texaco, North Tymon, Tallaght to look for CCTV footage from June 9 but it had been overwritten.
This came about after Mr Greene made a further statement on December 9 in which he said he had stopped there on June 9.
Detective Garda Gary Collins told Garnet Orange SC, for Stephanie O’Connor, that a laptop computer was seized from the house at Mountainview Park. It was widely used in the house but was in fact Stephanie’s primary computer, Mr Orange said. Det Gda Collins said he did not know who owned it.
On May 29, it was used at 6.07pm to search for Japanese anime cartoon videos on Youtube. It then “went dead” and revived again at 10.10pm with a Youtube anime video.
At 11.05pm, there was a search for job opportunities at Primark in Dundrum, with a sign in to Dropbox at 11.08pm, then a sign in to Google accounts a minute later with a curriculum vitae forwarded to Primark.
Det Gda Connolly agreed that the person involved appeared to be Stephanie O’Connor.
Det Gda James Doolan was questioned by Conor Devally SC about cell site analysis in relation to his client Mr Greene’s phone on June 9, when Mr Greene had said he went to Wexford to dig up the body.
Det Gda Doolan agreed that it would appear that, as Mr Greene had said himself, he did not take the phone with him.
James Dwyer SC, for Keith Johnston said his phone activity “dovetailed” with him being at shops in the Square in Tallaght on the afternoon of June 9, 2017, but later, it “pinged” off the mast near his own home in Tallaght and this continued until lunchtime on June 10, after which pinged exclusively off masts in Co. Dublin, Det Gda Doolan agreed.
The garda agreed with prosecutor Roisin Lacey SC that phone activity could arise from apps automatically updating and that did not necessarily mean there was a user.
Det Sgt Eamonn O’Neill agreed with Mr Devally that when Mr Greene was further interviewed while on remand in Cloverhill Prison on December 9, 2017, what he had to say “varied” from his earlier statements.
Further steps were taken following this interview, including a visit to the garage in Tymon North which was never mentioned before, for CCTV, and searches at the Dodder where he said items were cast aside. An axe and hacksaw were found in undergrowth.
A variation was that Mr Greene was not alone for a portion of the struggle with Patricia O’Connor he previously gave an account of, but that it was joined in by Patricia O'Connor's husband, Gus O’Connor, Mr Devally said.
Mr Johnston was the only person to be re-arrested following Mr Greene’s new interview; his co-accused were invited to reply to it if they so wished by they did not avail of that, Det Sgt O’Neill said.
He agreed with Mr Dwyer that Mr Greene was charged with murder on June 15, 2017 and gave his new statement on December 9. Mr Johnston was charged in relation to “shopping” with Mr Greene in October 2018, then his second charge was brought in December 2019.
Mr Greene’s new statement indicated “that another person, Gus O’Connor, had been complicit in the killing of Patricia O’Connor and notwithstanding this allegation, nobody other than Kieran Greene has been charged with murder,” Mr Orange said.
Det Sgt O’Neill said this was correct.
Earlier, the jury finished viewing hours of video evidence in the case. Mr Greene was seen buying tools in DIY shops days after her allegedly killed Ms O'Connor, while Mr Johnston was with him, walking around the aisles and carrying some items.
Garda Alan Thompson gave an outline of what was visible.
Keith Johnston is seen on several clips on June 3 and 4 at the rear of the house at Mountainview Park - footage that was captured on a neighbour's CCTV camera, Gda Thompson said.
He is seen cutting timber with an electric saw and checking tiles on the extension roof.
On June 5, he and Kieran Greene are seen going to Homebase, Nutgrove Shopping Centre at 1.50pm. At 2.20pm, Kieran walks up the driveway at the house, followed by Mr Johnston, who is carrying a bucket of paint.
Mr Greene hands Mr Johnston a bucket of grout or cement at the back of the house at 3.17pm. Then at 4.30pm Mr Johnston appears to be brushing the wall at the side of the house with a paintbrush.
On June 6, Mr Johnston and Greene are both seen outside the house.
On June 9, the Toyota Corolla that had been owned by Patricia O'Connor and used by Kieran Greene, reverses out of the driveway at 5.10pm. Mr Greene and Mr Johnston are later seen at a number of shops. They enter Mr Price in Tallaght at 4pm and Mr Greene is seen carrying a black canister. He is at the till at 4.11pm with a number of items, and Mr Johnston carries some items, Gda Thompson said.
At 4.20pm, the two men enter B&Q, Belgard Road Retail Park, Tallaght, and at 4.32pm, Mr Greene buys black bags, gloves, two saws and Mr Johnston carries items.
The Corolla is next seen at the Square, before the two men enter Shoezone at 4.44pm, exiting at 4.49pm carrying items.
They are browsing in Woodies, Tallaght at 5.08pm, then at the tills two minutes later, when Mr Greene purchases items. Mr Greene is carrying an item with a handle when they leave the store at 5.10pm.
The Corolla enters the driveway of the house at Mountainview Park at 5.48pm and Mr Greene walks around it and up the driveway. He walks back down at 6.17pm and is seen at 6.22pm entering Boots at Nutgrove Shopping Centre, where he buys an item. He buys baby wipes and household gloves in Eurogiant at 6.33pm, leaving the shopping centre at 6.39pm.
Mr Greene walks back up the driveway at Mountainview Park with a shopping bag at 6.43pm. He removes a child seat from the Corolla at 8.54pm and walks back up the driveway.
The Corolla revereses back out of the driveway and goes left at 8.55pm.
At 4.15am on June 10, the Corolla pulls into the driveway, a male in a t-shirt walks up the driveway towards the house. An upstairs light goes on at 4.53am and off again six minutes later.
Gda Thompson agreed with Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that apart from the female with a suitcase who appears from the left side of the house at 10.05pm on May 29 and goes in the back door, no other person goes in that door with leaving from it a short time previously.
Every time a person left via the back patio door, they shortly after returned.
In cross-examination, Gda Thompson told Mr Devally that the light seen going on in the house just before 5am was in a room occupied by Gus O’Connor. The garda agreed with Michael Bowman SC, for Louise O’Connor, that he had assisted the court with his commentary on the CCTV, but “it is for the jury to interpret what they see.”
The trial continues.