Sunday 22 September 2019

Mother beaten to death after three-day drink spree, trial told

Nicola Collins
Nicola Collins

Ralph Riegel

A mother of three was beaten to death by her boyfriend after a row erupted following a three-day drinking session, a murder trial has heard.

The State claimed that Cathal O'Sullivan (45), who denies the murder of Nicola Collins (38), inflicted multiple blunt force trauma injuries on the Co Kerry-born woman before her naked body was found in a Cork flat by emergency services.

Tom Creed SC, for the State, told Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and the Central Criminal Court jury of nine men and three women that the prosecution case is the defendant beat the mother to death during a drunken row.

Mr Creed said Ms Collins was found shortly after 3am in a flat at 6A Popham's Road, Farranree, Co Cork, on March 27, 2017.

She had multiple injuries and was found lying naked on her back on the bedroom floor with her legs resting on a bed.

Blood spatters were found in both the bedroom and the bathroom of the flat.

She was later found to have a broken jaw, two missing front teeth, a serious head injury as well as injuries to her face, lips, neck, chest, arms and breast.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster conducted a post-mortem examination at Cork University Hospital and ruled that Ms Collins died from a serious head injury with subdural haematoma consistent with blunt force trauma to the head.

Dr Bolster also found signs of asphyxia on Ms Collins's neck.

Mr Creed said the trial will hear evidence from a taxi driver who brought Ms Collins from her home at Clashduv on Cork's southside to Popham's Road on March 23, 2017, that she had no visible sign of injury and looked "well kept".

The only people seen arriving and leaving on CCTV footage from the Popham's Road flat were the deceased and the defendant.

"It will be apparent that an amount of drink was consumed over these days by both parties," Mr Creed said.

Ms Collins was last seen alive outside the flat at 11.24am on March 24.

Mr Creed said the defendant rang emergency services to alert them to Ms Collins condition at 3.05am on March 27.

However, Mr Creed said the jury will hear evidence that the defendant made two phone calls to a friend in the early hours of March 27 before he rang emergency services.

Those calls were made at 1.33am and 2.15am and one call lasted for 32 minutes.

Mr Creed said the defendant had conversations at the scene with various members of the emergency services.

The trial has already heard that a significant number of witnesses are scheduled to be called in evidence.

Ms Collins is survived by her parents, Kay and Michael, her sister, Carly, and her children, Nick, Adam and Michael.

The trial was expected to continue today.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News