Saturday 16 December 2017

Mother beaten to death by four men, court told

Eavan Murray

A MOTHER-OF-TWO was beaten to death by a gang of four men before her body was found in the boot of a burning car in 2009, a jury at the Central Criminal Court heard yesterday.

Rebecca French was found dead on the outskirts of Wexford town on October 9, 2009. The 30-year-old died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.

Helen Connors (25), with an address at Belvedere Grove, Wexford, has pleaded not guilty to impeding the investigation into Ms French's murder.

Family members of the victim wept as prosecution counsel Mary Ellen Ring read a transcript of six interviews with Ms Connors by gardai to the jury.

The court heard that Ms French was attacked and killed because she threatened to report one of the men, Ricardus Dilys (26), to the gardai for assaulting her.

Ms Connors described how she, Ms French and the four men were sitting in the living room of the house drinking alcohol when an argument broke out between Ms French and Mr Dilys who repeatedly punched Rebecca in the face.


When Ms French threatened to report him to the gardai Ms Connors said Mr Dilys became extremely aggressive and called the other three men into the kitchen area of the home.

Ms Connors said she overheard him say to the men that Ms French was "a rat" and the next words she heard were "gloves, gloves, gloves". The court then heard the four returned to the room with white latex gloves on and Mr Dilys kicked Ms French in the face.

Ms French then tried to get up and escape out the front door but was kicked again by Mr Dilys.

Ms Connors then described Patrick O'Connor spraying gas in Ms French's face before Mr Dilys began to hit her around the head and upper body with a golf club about 20 times.

Describing Ms French as "defenceless", Ms Connors said that all four of the men struck her with the golf club and repeatedly kicked her as she lay on the ground.

"They all had a go attacking her," she said. "They were intent on killing her."

The court heard that shortly after Ms French is believed to have died, Patrick O'Connor told the men he knew where there was a river where they could dispose of the body.

Mr O'Connor then instructed Ms Connors to clean up any evidence and bloodstains.

The trial continues next Tuesday.

Irish Independent

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