Thursday 26 April 2018

Mark Nash found guilty of gruesome double-murder of two women

Mark Nash (Photo: Courtpix)
Mark Nash (Photo: Courtpix)

Allison O'Riordan

CONVICTED double murderer Mark Nash has been found guilty of the "cold case" murder of two women, whose mutilated bodies were found in their sheltered accommodation in Grangegorman in Dublin nearly twenty years ago.

Nash is already serving a double life sentence in Arbour Hill Prison since October 1998 for murdering two people in Ballintober, Castlerea in Roscommon and leaving Sarah Jane Doyle seriously injured in mid-August in 1997.

The 42 year old, who is originally from England but has last addresses at Prussia Street and Clonliffe Road in Dublin, pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the murder of Sylvia Sheils (59) and Mary Callanan (61) between March 6 and March 7, 1997.

From the outset the trial was set to last six to eight weeks but instead it continued for 48 days during which the jury heard evidence from 71 witnesses including gardai attached to the Bridewell Garda Station in Dublin, Mill Street Garda Station in Galway, the National Bureau of Criminal Investigations (NCBI) at Harcourt Square, Mountjoy Prison, Forensic Science Ireland (FSI).

In October 2009 Nash was formally charged with the offences in respect of the double murder at Grangegorman.

Mr Justice Carroll Moran told the eleven jury members that the prosecution’s case was based on three things; the admissions made by the accused, the print of the caterpillar boot found in bedroom number one of Orchard View and finally the scientific evidence and DNA.

Mr Brendan Grehan SC and Ms Una Ni Raifeartaigh SC acted for the State and called 71 witnesses over the ten weeks as well as having 39 exhibits.

It is understood there were over 260 persons of interest in the investigation, over 1,800 statements were taken at the time as well as 1,700 lines of enquiry.

It was the prosecution's case that there was 13 confessions made by Nash to the Grangegorman murders and all were consistent from beginning to end.

In 2009 "a spectacular breakthrough" led to the DNA of the two deceased women being found on a black pin-striped velvet jacket belonging to Nash as part of the cold case review.

Nash was sentenced to life.

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