Wednesday 24 January 2018

Murder accused had 'scratches on hands'

Jimmy Devaney
Jimmy Devaney

Niamh O'Donoghue

The trial of a retired member of the defence forces accused of murdering a woman has heard evidence that he had bloodshot eyes and scratches on his hands on the night in question.

Jimmy Devaney (66) of Millbrook Avenue, Monksland, Athlone has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Marie Greene in Westmeath on February 13, 2011.

The court has heard that Ms Greene, who was working as a prostitute, was last seen alive that evening and her body was found in a bog near Ballykieran, outside Athlone, nine days later.

The accused was playing cards in the Lighthouse Casino in Custume Place in the town that night and was the first to sign in to avail of an 'early-bird chip' before leaving and returning later that evening, the court heard.

Fergus Joseph Kenny, who ran the tournaments in the casino, said Mr Devaney came back to the casino that night "around 9pm".

"Jimmy came in and sat at seat 8… He was flustered at the time, I assumed at the time he was flustered because he was late," said Mr Kenny.

He told Alex Owens SC prosecuting there were cuts on Mr Devaney's knuckles and his shirt was torn on his right hand.

Mr Kenny testified that he asked the accused what happened to his hand.

"He replied by saying 'I had to give a lad a tow'," Mr Kenny told the court.

He said Mr Devaney told him he got the scratches because he fell in a ditch when he was getting out of the car.

Mr Kenny told the court Mr Devaney was getting very agitated and very aggressive.

He said the card dealer noticed his eye was bloodshot before the other people present saw that also. He told the court Mr Devaney made it to the final table and finished sixth or seventh that night.

Ray Murphy told the court he was present at the poker game in the Lighthouse Casino when the tournament started at 9pm.

He said Mr Devaney arrived in and there was a comment made about his shirt being torn and blood on his sleeve.

When he spoke to the accused at the break, he noticed his eyes were bloodshot and he told him it happened at football that day, Mr Murphy said.

There was a spot of blood on his shirt and he tried to wipe it off, he added.

The prosecution alleges that Mr Devaney stabbed Ms Greene six times and that he murdered her because she was blackmailing him that she would tell his wife he was a client.

The trial continues on Tuesday before a jury of six men and six women, presided over by Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan.

Irish Independent

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