Thursday 18 July 2019

'I wept as I dismembered my dead friend with chainsaw in yard', murder accused told gardaí

Court hears description of 'savagery and carnage' after fatal shooting

Kenneth O’Brien. Photo: Colin Keegan
Kenneth O’Brien. Photo: Colin Keegan
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

Murder accused Paul Wells told gardaí he wept as he cut his friend's body to pieces with his own chainsaw after shooting him dead.

He told the officers the scenes in his back yard after he shot Kenneth O'Brien in the head in what he claims was an accident were "f**king savagery" and "pure carnage".

Wells (50) added that he kept "bottling it" and was "practically expecting (Mr O'Brien) to wake up".

Afterwards, he put Mr O'Brien's torso in his own suitcase and his limbs in plastic bags and threw the remains in the Grand Canal.

His hands, which were never found, were dropped into the Liffey, Mr Wells said.

The jury in Mr Wells's Central Criminal Court trial was shown a video of a Garda interview in which he made the admissions. Mr Wells, of Barnamore Park, Finglas, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr O'Brien (33) at that address between January 15 and 16, 2016.

He has admitted that he shot him dead, but said it happened when they struggled during a row after Mr O'Brien turned up at his home with a gun.

The accused claimed that Mr O'Brien had wanted to have his own partner Eimear Dunne murdered and Mr Wells refused to kill her.

Yesterday, the jury heard Mr Wells told gardaí that after he shot Mr O'Brien, he dragged the body into his shed.

He said: "I had to get Ken out of there before (Wells's wife) Audrey came back, and (his son) Gary came in. I just hadn't a clue what I was going to do."

He considered using a wood saw, then remembered he had a chainsaw - which he had borrowed from Mr O'Brien.

"I don't know what I was thinking," he said.

"And the hard part for me was that belonged to Ken. I borrowed it.

"The thought of having to use that horrible f**king thing was just too much for me but I knew time was running out."

The shed was a "mess" so he could not do it there, he said.

"I pulled him outside, having taken all his clothes off him. And I dragged him to the end of the garden."

After he moved two bins, he said: "Ken was too low down for anybody to see." However, he needed several attempts to start the chainsaw.

"I never thought I'd do that to a human being. I just had an overwhelming sense of trying to survive," he said.

"Must have f**king made about six attempts to f**king try and do it. I couldn't. I kept bottling it.

"I was practically expecting him to wake up.

"I couldn't f**king believe it. I couldn't believe what I'd done. I felt sick. That smell was all over … of death.

"I'm telling you, people think about things like that but if you're there, you are in a f**king nightmare, it's f**king real.

"I sat on the ground, it was just f**king carnage - pure carnage."

Mr Wells went on: "I went into the shed and I picked up his legs and arms and his head and I put them into the plastic bags. That just left his torso then.

"It will live with me for the rest of my life no matter what happens."

Later, he said, "when I chopped him into pieces, I was on my knees".

He added that he had a suitcase Mr O'Brien had given him and he put the torso in that and put it the boot of his car, driving to the Grand Canal in Co Kildare. "I'm ashamed to say that I put that suitcase in the water," he said.

The trial continues before a jury and Mr Justice Paul McDermott.

Irish Independent

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