Saturday 24 February 2018

Spade found near Elaine’s body was ours – Dwyer’s wife

Dwyer called Elaine 'awful girl' in letter to his wife

Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

ARCHITECT Graham Dwyer wrote a letter to his wife alleging that another man was "involved" in the death of Elaine O'Hara, whom he described as "that awful girl" whose life he claimed to have once saved.

Yesterday Gemma Dwyer (inset), who is also an architect, told her husband's murder trial that she recognised a spade found near the site where Elaine O'Hara's skeletal remains were discovered in September 2013, as being a missing spade from the garden of their family home.

Graham Dwyer and his wife Gemma in a photo from an old magazine featuring an article about the couple’s renovated cottage
Graham Dwyer and his wife Gemma in a photo from an old magazine featuring an article about the couple’s renovated cottage

"That's the spade from our garden," Ms Dwyer told prosecutor Sean Guerin SC when shown a photograph of a spade. The Central Criminal Court heard it was found in a wooded area close to where Ms O'Hara's remains were discovered.

Ms Dwyer testified that their garden spade was missing during the summer of 2013 and said she had mentioned this to her husband a number of times.

Mr Dwyer (42) from Kerrymount Close in Foxrock, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms O'Hara at Kilakee Mountain in Rathfarnham on August 22, 2012.

Yesterday Ms Dwyer, the mother of his two small children, told the trial that she received a letter from her husband on February 28, 2014, in which he told her not to believe gardaí.

Excerpts of the letter were read into the court record by Mr Guerin and its contents confirmed by Ms Dwyer.

The letter read: "They (gardaí) actually have no evidence except my name and someone else's number in that awful girl's diary. I do know her, yes, and was helping her. And I wasn't totally honest with you."

The letter went on to claim that another man was involved.

"There is another man, someone who likes Real Madrid and wears pink underwear, who is involved in this. I believe this girl committed suicide and this man disposed of some embarrassing items on her behalf.

"She tried to kill herself several times. Why do you think none of her family are pushing this? I saved her life once."

In the letter, Mr Dwyer told his wife that Ms O'Hara had just been released from a mental hospital and that there would be evidence that she bought eight prescription drugs. Mr Dwyer also wrote that he should have gone to the police when Ms O'Hara went missing, as he could have known where she might be, but said that he did not.

Ms Dwyer was the 167th witness to testify in the trial of her husband. Ms Dwyer told the court she recognised a spade found near Ms O'Hara's remains as one from their home.

The skeletal remains of the childcare worker were found by a dog walker at Kilakee on September 13, 2013. The trial has heard that a cause of death could not be determined. It is the prosecution's case that Mr Dwyer murdered Ms O'Hara for his own sexual gratification.

In her evidence, Ms Dwyer said that she noticed that their garden spade was missing for the entire summer of 2013. She said that after her husband's arrest in September 2013, she noticed that there was a different spade in the garden.

"It's something that came to my mind after the arrest," she said. Shown the photograph of a spade found in a wooded area close to Ms O'Hara's remains, Mrs Dwyer told the court "the stickers were familiar, but also the spatters or orangey red paint on it".

Asked about a different spade found in her garden, she said she noticed it after gardaí had searched their home and presumed officers had left it behind. Ms Dwyer said this was not the spade missing in the summer of 2013.

Shown a photograph of a swing set in her back garden taken on March 5, 2011, Ms Dwyer identified a spade beside the swing as "our spade".

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News