Tuesday 23 January 2018

‘No evidence’ Dwyer left work early on day Elaine vanished

Jury told of 50pc pay cuts to directors at architect firm

Architect Graham Dwyer is accused of the murder of Elaine O’Hara (inset), from Killiney, Co Dublin
Architect Graham Dwyer is accused of the murder of Elaine O’Hara (inset), from Killiney, Co Dublin

Sarah Stack and Andrew Phelan

ATTENDANCE records show Graham Dwyer was working in his office the day Elaine O'Hara disappeared, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

The jury was also told there was no evidence the architect had left work early that day - August 22, 2012 - or that he failed to be back in work as normal the following morning.

However there were some inconsistencies in the records covering several other dates that Mr Dwyer had been working in 2011 and 2012, the court heard.

Siobhan McEvitt, office manager at A&D Wejchert, Lower Baggott Street, Dublin was being cross-examined on day 13 of the Graham Dwyer trial.

The 42-year-old, of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, is pleading not guilty to the murder of Ms O'Hara (36) at Killakee, Rathfarnham on August 22, 2012.

Her skeletal remains were found in undergrowth in the Dublin mountains on September 13, 2013.

The prosecution maintains Mr Dwyer killed Ms O'Hara for his own sexual gratification.

Under cross-examination, barrister Ronan Kennedy, for the defence, put it to Ms McEvitt that she could not vouch personally for anyone being in or out of the office on a particular day.

"You are relying on the accuracy of the records and sometimes there is a conflict in the records," he said.

"Unless I spoke to them personally," Ms McEvitt replied.

Mr Kennedy queried attendance records and monthly time sheets for the weeks ending August 19, 2012, and August 26, 2012.

"Yes he appears to have worked a normal week according to these records," Ms McEvitt said.

Mr Kennedy asked specifically about August 22, 2012, the day the prosecution claims he murdered Ms O'Hara.

"According to records he started work at 8.30am and worked a normal eight-hour day," she said.

"It looks like he worked a normal day both those weeks."

She agreed there was no record of him leaving the office early.

Ms McEvitt also told Mr Justice Tony Hunt that each employee was emailed blank timesheets and each had a role in filling them in and returning them to her. "So it is not compiled without some input from the person with whom it concerns?" the judge asked. "That's right," Ms McEvitt said.

However she conceded there were inconsistencies, including an error in one document which stated he was in Poland on December 1 and 2, 2011, when he had been in the office.

Office administrator Marian Kraus told the court she made the error and should have marked the trip in the following week.

David Lanigan, joint MD of A&D Wejchert & Partners Architects who travelled to Poland with Mr Dwyer, told that directors at the firm had suffered a 50pc pay cut since 2009.

He said Mr Dwyer had been involved in a range of projects and areas within the practice and was particularly skilled in 3D visualisation and artists' impressions of projects and presentations.

Mr Lanigan also agreed with prosecutor Sean Guerin SC that he knew Mr Dwyer was married with two children and had an interest in cars.

"Mr Dwyer had a number of different cars over the years and they were changed over the years," he said, recalling a Porsche and four-wheel drive.

"He also had an interest in flying model aeroplanes. From what he told me he was involved in competitions for a club."

Skilled

Mr Lanigan told the court Mr Dwyer was very skilled with computers and had an office desktop, smart phone, laptop and a notebook and stored information on USB keys.

While he was based in the office, he also worked on projects around Ireland and in Poland, where the founding partners were from.

Mr Lanigan said Mr Dwyer would "typically" leave the office at around 4.45pm each evening to mind his children and that they would usually - but not always - tell reception of they were going out so it was marked in records.

Mr Guerin then took Mr Lanigan through a series of dates to confirm if Mr Dwyer attended board meetings in the office, site meetings and evening events, including the Irish Poland Business Association in the Polish Embassy and seminars by Enterprise Ireland.

Irish Independent

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