Tuesday 12 December 2017

'I stabbed them' - garda reads out Nash statement

Mark Nash (Photo: Courtpix)
Mark Nash (Photo: Courtpix)
Sylvia Shields

Alison O'Riordan

A jury has heard that a man on trial for a 1997 double murder gave a statement to gardaí in which he admitted stabbing two women after breaking into a house in Grangegorman.

Detective Garda Gerard Dillon, now retired, read a written statement given by the accused Mark Nash in Galway on August 17 1997, in which he said he wished to volunteer information in relation to a double murder he "committed in Dublin five months ago".

Mark Nash, who had last addresses at Prussia Street and Clonliffe Road in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the murder of Sylvia Shields (59) and Mary Callanan (61), who lived in sheltered accommodation in a house attached to St Brendan's Psychiatric Hospital in Grangegorman, Dublin, between March 6 and March 7, 1997.

Mr Dillon yesterday read the statement made in 1997 to the court.

"I now wish to volunteer information in relation to a double murder I committed in Dublin five months ago, I was coming from the GPO to Stoneybatter, I had been at a fundraising event for charity held in the GPO," read Mr Dillon.

The court heard Mr Nash said he left the GPO on O'Connell Street around 10.30pm and walked along the quays where he had a few drinks in a club known as the Ormond Centre. At 11.30pm upon leaving the club, he said he took a wrong turn and ended up at Orchard View where he came to a two-storey house.

"I cannot explain my mind at the time, but everything seemed to turn black, I lost control and decided to break into a house. I went in a side entrance to the back of the house," read Mr Dillon.

The court heard how Mr Nash said he broke the bottom right-hand frame of a window at Orchard View to get into the house and put a spare pair of socks he had in his pocket on his hands. The jury heard how Mr Nash said he picked up a red-handled bread knife in the kitchen before he went upstairs.

The court heard how in the first room, there was a "large lady" in her "mid-50s" asleep, lying on her back in a single bed and Mark Nash said he pulled the duvet down to her waist and stabbed her in the chest, through her night dress.

"I don't know how many times, it was a frenzy attack, I cut her throat, I think just once," read Mr Dillon.

Upon going into the second bedroom, Mr Dillon read how Mr Nash said he saw a lady of a "slim build" getting out of a double bed and he walked to the foot of the bed and stabbed her in the chest.

"I don't know how many times, she fell forward, I may have cut her throat, I can't remember," read Mr Dillon.

In the third bedroom, there was a woman asleep in a single bed with black ear phones on and fully covered with bed clothes. Mr Dillon read that Mark Nash said he still had the knife in his hand but he regained his self-control and left the room.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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