Sunday 18 November 2018

Mum beaten and strangled by jealous boyfriend, trial is told

Adam O'Keefe pictured at Cork District Court. Photo: Cork Courts Limited
Adam O'Keefe pictured at Cork District Court. Photo: Cork Courts Limited
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A man whose girlfriend was found badly beaten and strangled in a derelict house was very jealous and believed she had cheated on him, a court has been told.

The revelation came as Adam O'Keeffe (27) denied the murder of young Cork mother-of-one Amy McCarthy (22) but admitted her manslaughter.

Mr O'Keeffe is charged with the murder of Ms McCarthy between April 29-30, 2017, on the second floor of a derelict office complex at Sheares Street in Cork city centre.

In opening the prosecution case before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a Central Criminal Court jury of six men and six women, Sean Gillane SC said the relationship between the defendant and Ms McCarthy was often blighted by alcohol dependency and jealousy. "It was a volatile relationship on occasions - it was quite up and down," he said.

Both Ms McCarthy and the defendant had alcohol issues. However, Ms McCarthy had been making valiant efforts to deal with her problems after the birth of her young son, Adam, in January 2016. Ms McCarthy had been involved in a relationship with Mr O'Keeffe for between three to four years.

Mr Gillane said that Mr O'Keeffe, of St Vincent's Hostel on Angelsea Terrace in Cork city, had "expressed jealousy on a regular basis".

He said it was the State case that, on April 29, 2017, Mr O'Keeffe met Ms McCarthy in Cork city and later became involved in a dispute with her.

"A heated argument developed between Adam O'Keeffe and Amy McCarthy - it seemed to be based on a belief or assertion by Mr O'Keeffe that Amy McCarthy had cheated on him."

Mr Gillane said the movements of the defendant and the deceased around Cork that day - along with a number of other individuals who were drinking with them - were caught on CCTV footage.

Around 6.30am on April 30, the defendant and two other men went to the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) and sought medical attention from a security guard and nurse on duty.

Paramedics immediately went to nearby No 36 Sheares Street and found the body of Ms McCarthy lying on her back on the second floor with blood spatters on the wall. "Injuries to her were immediately apparent ... [including] extensive bruising to her scalp, face and neck," Mr Gillane said.

One paramedic said that Adam O'Keeffe placed his head on Ms McCarthy's chest and then kissed her twice on the lips before he left the room at the request of the emergency services.

A post-mortem examination by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster found that Ms McCarthy died from multiple injuries including blunt-force trauma to the head and asphyxia caused by manual strangulation.

The trial continues today.

Irish Independent

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