Saturday 24 March 2018

Man accused of mother-of-one’s murder confessed to garda, court told

Natasha Reid

A 42-YEAR-OLD Dublin man accused of murdering a mother-of-one told his arresting garda: ‘I’m guilty’, his trial was told yesterday.

Jason Daly, of PJ Delaney Flats, Main Street, Mountrath, Laois, but originally from Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering his 30-year-old Kildare neighbour, Diane Burroughs, in her flat above a butcher shop on April 16, 2011.

Sergeant Brendan Fitzgerald told the opening day of his trial that he got a message that evening that the defendant’s sister, Lorraine Daly, wanted to speak to him urgently.

He said that, after speaking to Ms Daly, he went to the building known as PJ Delaney Flats in which both the accused and the deceased lived in separate apartments.

He told the Central Criminal Court that it was 8.33pm when he went up the stairs to Ms Burroughs’ flat, which was on the first floor.

He said the door was locked and that he was about to kick it in when he heard a person running up the stairs after him. It was Jason Daly, he said.

“He said: ‘Brendan, I killed Diane’,” testified the sergeant.

Sgt Fitzgerald said that because he was alone, he took Mr Daly downstairs and cautioned him.

“He was crying,” he recalled.

He said the accused told him that he had spent the previous night with Ms Burroughs, had slept with her and had spent that day drinking in the flat.

The sergeant said that when he asked him what time the incident had taken place, he replied: “I don’t f**king know. I don’t f**king know.”

Sgt Fitzgerald said that more gardai arrived and that he and two colleagues went back upstairs and broke down Ms Burroughs’ door. He went straight into the bedroom.

“She was lying on the bed with her arms outstretched,” he testified. The jury had already seen photographs of the crime scene, including one of the deceased on the bed.

“There was a pillow covered with blood and a wound on the right side of her neck,” he said.

“I called out her name. There was no response,” he said, explaining that he then preserved the scene until a doctor arrived and pronounced Ms Burroughs dead.

The jury had already been told that Ms Burroughs died of strangulation, with the wound to her neck a contributing factor.

The sergeant said that he later returned downstairs and arrested Mr Daly on suspicion of her murder and that the accused replied: “I’m guilty”.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Barry White and a jury of nine men and three women.

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