A JURY has begun deliberating for a second day in the trial of four people charged over the death of grandmother-of-seven Patricia O’Connor, whose dismembered remains were found scattered in the Wicklow mountains.
The jurors resumed considering verdicts this morning in the joint trial of murder accused Kieran Greene (35) and three people charged with impeding his prosecution.
They had been deliberating for just under an hour and 40 minutes after retiring yesterday at the end of the seven-week trial.
Mr Greene is accused of murdering Patricia (61), mother of his then-partner Louise O’Connor (41), at their home at Mountainview Park, Rathfarnham on May 29, 2017.
Louise's daughter Stephanie O’Connor (22) is accused of disguising herself as Patricia after she died as “ruse” to pretend that her grandmother was still alive, while Louise allegedly agreed to this.
It is alleged Keith Johnston (43) - Louise’s ex-boyfriend and Stephanie’s father - impeded Mr Greene’s prosecution by helping him buy tools for use to conceal Patricia’s remains.
Mr Johnston has already been acquitted by direction of the judge of a second charge, that he refurbished the O’Connors’ bathroom to conceal or destroy evidence.
Before the trial started, Patricia’s husband Gus O’Connor (75) pleaded guilty to falsely reporting she was missing on June 1, 2017 when he knew she was dead.
This morning, the judge said he had been told the jury was requesting an easel and flip chart, and had queried how to view CCTV footage that had been played during the trial.
The judge told the jury he would organise those "two practical matters" in their absence and that exhibits were also available if needed. They then resumed deliberations at 10.38am.
The jury heard yesterday there were three potential verdicts available in Mr Greene's case: he could be acquitted, found guilty of murder, or not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.
In the cases of the co-accused, Judge McDermott said they could be either acquitted, found guilty of impeding Mr Greene’s prosecution for murder or guilty of impeding his prosecution for manslaughter. The verdicts must be unanimous.
During the trial, the jury heard Patricia O'Connor's dismembered remains were found dumped in the mountains between June 10 and 14, 2017.
She died of blunt force trauma to the head caused by at least three blows from a solid implement, a post mortem exam found.
The jury has heard Mr Greene handed himself in to gardai on June 12 and told them he killed Patricia in self defence when she attacked him with a hurley in the bathroom.
He described burying the body in a shallow grave in Wexford, panicking and returning 10 days later to dig it up and dismember it with a hacksaw before scattering the pieces in Wicklow.
In December, he gave gardai another version of events in interview, alleging it was actually Gus O’Connor who killed his wife by intervening in the bathroom struggle and hitting her with a metal bar.