Friday 23 March 2018

Shot teen Marioara was 'mummified' in bin liners, murder trial told

The body of Marioara Rostas (inset) being removed from the Dublin Mountains in 2012
The body of Marioara Rostas (inset) being removed from the Dublin Mountains in 2012

ANdrew Phelan

A TEENAGER who had just moved to Ireland was shot in the head, stripped to her underwear and 'mummified' in binliners before being buried in a shallow grave.

Harrowing details of the final moments of Romanian Marioara Rostas (18) emerged at the Central Criminal Court yesterday as a 35-year-old man went on trial for her murder.

The accused, Alan Wilson, allegedly searched unsuccessfully for a 'ready-made bunker' before burying the body, which lay undiscovered for four years.

Her body was found two years ago by gardai who uncovered her with their hands.

A jury was told the prosecution will maintain Marioara was last seen alive getting into Mr Wilson's car in Dublin.

But the defence has said it is not admitted that Mr Wilson, who denies murder, was driving the car at the time of her death.

The trial began yesterday before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of 10 men and two women.

The accused, with an address at New Street Gardens, Dublin 8, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Marioara at Brabazon Street, The Coombe, between January 7 and 8, 2008. Her body was found in the Kippure-Sally Gap area on the Dublin/Wicklow border on January 23, 2012.

Prosecutor Sean Gillane SC said Marioara arrived in Ireland in December 2007 and began begging with her parents and younger brother.

They were begging around the Lombard Street/Pearse Street junction on January 6, 2008, when her brother saw her talking to a man in a Ford Mondeo. It was indicated that she was going to McDonald's with the man for food. The man gave €10 to the brother, who noted a partial car registration.

Her family "never saw her alive again", Mr Gillane said.

The next day, her older brother in Romania received a call from Marioara in which she seemed "very, very upset and frightened". The conversation was brief and the call cut off.

No more was heard until two developments occurred: the victim's younger brother identified Mr Wilson's silver Ford Mondeo as the car he had seen, and the identification of the home of the accused's sister Maxine Wilson.

Mr Gillane said a fire had been deliberately set at the address in February 2008, causing serious damage. But a forensic examination revealed a firearm had been discharged in a bedroom.

At the end of 2011, Fergus O'Hanlon, who was in a relationship with Maxine Wilson and friends with the accused, told gardai he had information relating to the disappearance.

On January 16, 2012, gardai conducting a search in the Kippure area found plywood sheets and scaffold planking covering an empty squared-off hole. Mr Gillane said it would be the prosecution's case that this was a "ready-made grave or bunker".

On January 23, mechanical diggers uncovered a piece of black plastic. Gardai continued with shovels, then their hands. The body of a woman was found and DNA tests confirmed the victim's identity.

She was wrapped in black plastic bin liners and plastic sheets tightened with duct tape, having the effect of "mummifying her," Mr Gillane continued.

She was in her underwear with a pillow case over her head and a knotted sheet around her legs. There were four gunshot wounds to her head.

Mr Gillane told the jury Mr O'Hanlon would say that on January 7, 2008, he was called to the Brabazon Street address.

The evidence would be that Mr Wilson showed Mr O'Hanlon the corpse and "made remarks to the effect that she was a witness".

Mr O'Hanlon would say he assisted as she was wrapped in plastic.

He would say they drove into the woods, then he followed with a shovel while Mr Wilson carried the body, "looking round for the pre-prepared bunker".

It was not found and Mr O'Hanlon would say they instead dug a shallow grave.

It would be alleged that Mr O'Hanlon was told to help clean the room in Brabazon Street.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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