Murder accused told gardai: 'I just lost it completely', trial hears
A retired member of the Defence Forces accused of murdering a woman in Co.Westmeath told gardai he was being blackmailed by her for up to 40,000 euro or she would tell his wife.
Father-of-three 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 on the evening of the 13th of February and her body was found in a bog near Ballykieran outside Athlone nine days later.
Today the jury has been listening to memos of garda interviews with the accused on February 21, 2011 where he told them he had lost control and stabbed Ms Greene.
He told gardai in an interview that he had given Ms Greene up to 40,000 euro and 20,000 euro in the previous six months.
Mr Devaney said he hadn't paid any of the money back said he was waiting for a windfall to clear his debts.
He said he drove out to a bog on the Mullingar Road to talk to her but denied bringing a knife with him on the night in question.
Mr Devaney said Ms Greene threatened that she was going to tell her brother to collect her who would sort the accused out and and that she was swinging the knife at him.
In the interview he said he grabbed Ms Greene and wrestled with her before throwing her into a drain.
He told gardai that she started running at him with a knife and he grabbed it from her and he pulled her to the ground before stabbing her. He said he later buried her.
When asked how many times he had stabbed her he said: “I just lost it completely. She was after doing so much damage, she was holding me over a barrel for years.”
He said he had met Ms Greene 10 or 12 years earlier when he was donating clothes to her neighbour.
He said Ms Greene propositioned him and they developed a relationship in which he would receive sexual favours in exchange for money. Mr Devaney said he would usually give her 20 euro.
“It was opportunistic for me, she was available a quick fix,” he told gardai.
The trial has heard the accused had been playing cards in a casino in Athlone that night as he regularly did.
He said he went back to play cards at the Lighthouse Casino in Custume place after the incident.
“People knew by me I was dishevelled, out of sorts. I was like a zombie from that time on.”’
The accused’s brother-in-law Peter Boardman told the court via videolink from the UK that he brought a number of knives to Ireland he had used in his trade as a butcher.
He told Mr Alex Owens SC prosecuting he was going to give them to a local butcher and left them at Mr Devaney’s house.
Mr Boardman testified he was shown a green-handled knife by Detective Sergeant Eamon Curley and said he recognised it. He said it was a five-inch boning knife.
The trial will continue on Monday before a jury of six men and six women with Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan presiding.