Friday 15 November 2019

Serial killer Mark Nash lodges 45 grounds to appeal Grangegorman murders

Accused: Mark Nash
Accused: Mark Nash


Convicted serial killer Mark Nash has lodged an appeal against his conviction for the cold case murder of two women in Grangegorman nearly 20 years ago.

Last month Nash was jailed for life for the double murder of Sylvia Sheils (59) and Mary Callanan (61), whose mutilated bodies were found in their sheltered accommodation, in March 1997. has learned that Nash - who is now a prisoner in the Midlands Prison - lodged an appeal on 45 grounds on May 13.

Read more: Mark Nash: Profile of a notorious killer

The main grounds of the appeal are complaints that he did not receive a fair trial because of lateness of disclosure by the prosecution, the admission of his confessions at Galway Garda Station, and the contamination of DNA evidence.

He also complained about the fact that Mr Justice Carroll Moran refused to backdate his sentence, and he has been denied the right to apply for parole for at least another seven years.

Nash was already serving a double life sentence in Arbour Hill Prison when convicted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court after deliberating for just over four hours.

Read more: Mark Nash found guilty of gruesome double-murder of two women

Mark Nash
Mark Nash
Mark Nash at a table quiz.
Mark Nash was found guilty of the murders of Sylvia Shiels and Mary Callinan in March 1997
Stella Nolan holds pictures of her sister outside court yesterday after Mark Nash was found guilty of the murders of her and Sylvia Shiels in March 1997
Sarah Jane Doyle who was left for dead by Nash and had to face him in court.

He was previously convicted of murdering two people in Ballintober, Castlerea in Roscommon and leaving Sarah Jane Doyle seriously injured in mid-August in 1997.

Nash, 42, who is originally from England, has been in jail since October 1998.

Earlier today it emerged that Nash had stabbed himself in the neck with a makeshift 'shiv' in an apparent suicide attempt.

Read more: Serial killer Mark Nash stabs himself in throat in suicide bid - report

After the latest verdict was announced on April 20 his barrister Hugh Hartnett asked Mr Justice Moran for the sentence to be backdated as there was a delay on the part of the State in bringing the prosecution in 1999 and it was appropriate for there to be some back dating.

The judge denied this and sentenced Nash to a life sentence for the double murder from that date.

As a consequence of this, a further ground of his appeal is that the killer will have to serve out the minimum seven years of his sentence before his case can be considered by the Parole Board.

Read more: Mark Nash: Profile of a notorious killer

In October 2009 Mark Nash was formally charged with the offences in respect of the double murder at Grangegorman.

It is understood there were over 260 persons of interest in the investigation, over 1,800 statements were taken at the time as well as 1,700 lines of enquiry.

It was the prosecution's case that there were 13 confessions made by Mark Nash to the Grangegorman murders and all were consistent from beginning to end.

In 2009 "a spectacular breakthrough" led to the DNA of the two deceased women being found on a black pin-striped velvet jacket belonging to Nash as part of the cold case review.

Read more: Timeline: The Grangegorman murders... 18 years later Nash is found guilty

The trial, which was set to last six to eight weeks, continued for 48 days during which the jury heard evidence from 71 witnesses.

Mr Justice Moran told the eleven jury members that the prosecution’s case was based on three things; the admissions made by the accused, the print of the caterpillar boot found in bedroom number one of Orchard View and finally the scientific evidence and DNA.

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