Tuesday 23 January 2018

Marioara murder trial: deliberations expected to begin this afternoon

Marioara Rostas
Marioara Rostas

The jury is expected to begin deliberations this afternoon in the trial of a Dublin man charged with murdering teenager Marioara Rostas.

Alan Wilson (35) of New Street Gardens has pleaded not guilty to the 18-year-old's  murder at a house on Brabazon Street, The Coombe, Dublin between January 7 and January 8, 2008.

The six-week trial has heard that the Romanian girl had been begging at a Dublin City junction on the afternoon of January 6th 2008. Her younger brother saw her get into a car, which was driven off, and her family never saw her again.

The Central Criminal Court heard that her body was found in a shallow grave in the Dublin mountains four years later. She had died of four bullet wounds to her head.

Alan Wilson and his friend, Fergus O'Hanlon, were arrested in October 2008 and questioned about the murder but no progress was made in the investigation until late 2011. O'Hanlon, a convicted criminal, then told gardai that he could help locate the body and give information about the crime.

O'Hanlon, who has immunity from prosecution, has since told the trial that he arrived home on January 8th 2008 to find a girl dead in his house and Mr Wilson with a gun in his hand. He said that he felt sick but helped his friend bury her body and later cleaned up the scene.

Michael O'Higgins SC , defending, told the jury that it had got 'a master class in perjury' from O'Hanlon. He noted that he had come forward with information only when being questioned about another crime.

However, prosecutor Seán Gillane SC said that, given the context, the evidence was never going to come from an altar boy. He said that O'Hanlon had already gotten away with his crime of assisting a killer when he decided to help gardai.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy has warned the jury of 10 men and two women that O'Hanlon is an accomplice and a beneficiary of the Witness Protection Programme. He informed them that it would be dangerous to convict on the basis of his uncorroborated evidence.

He is expected to conclude his charge this afternoon, after which the jury will begin deliberations.

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