Wednesday 24 January 2018

Stories of being abducted, held and tortured retrieved from Elaine O'Hara's computer

Elaine O'Hara
Elaine O'Hara
Witness: Garda Brid Wallace
Sean Guerin SC

Sarah Stack and Andrew Phelan

Images of mutilated bodies, pornography and naked and semi-naked photographs were discovered on Elaine O'Hara's laptop by computer experts, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Stories of being abducted, held and tortured written by unknown authors were also retrieved from the hard drive of the Apple device, the jury was told.

Detective Garda Brid Wallace, of the Garda Computer Crime Unit, said she was searching for all types of files, including still and moving images, when she extracted movie files "some mainstream and some of an adult pornographic nature".


There were 16 image files with adult pornographic or BDSM content, the court heard.

Det Gda Wallace was giving evidence on day 21 of the Graham Dwyer trial. The 42-year-old architect denies murdering Ms O'Hara at Killakee, Rathfarnham on August 22, 2012.

The prosecution maintains Mr Dwyer killed the 36-year-old child care assistant for his own sexual gratification.

Ms O'Hara's remains were found by a dog walker in undergrowth in the Dublin mountains on September 13, 2013.

Det Gda Wallace agreed with Sean Guerin SC, prosecuting, that in still image files she found "a number of image files from a website of what were mutilated bodies".

There were also a number of images of Ms O'Hara herself, some self-taken and some taken by a different person, the court heard. "In some of them she was clothed and in others she is either partially clothed or unclothed," Mr Guerin said, with Det Gda Wallace agreeing.

The images, which were shown to the jury, included Ms O'Hara's profile picture for the adult website and others which Mr Guerin said "appeared to show healed scars or marks around the mid torso".

In another, a mole or birth mark was visible inside the right breast, the court heard.

Also discovered on the hard drive was the PDF of 'Serial Violence: Analysis of Modus Operandi and Signature Characteristics of Killers', a book written by William Birnes and Robert D Keppel, Mr Guerin said.

The publication contained graphic images of mutilated bodies and crime scene photographs, the court heard, while another document found, entitled 'Outline of a Slave' referred to a 'contract' for slavery.

The court heard two documents were retrieved from a folder marked 'Private'.

The first, created on April 15, 2009, was 792 words long and - in the first person - gave a detailed account of being abducted by a man on the way to work, locked in the boot of a car before being held at a location where the person writing the piece was held in chains, whipped and knifed.

Another - named 'mystory.doc' - was created on November 5, 2011 and, again in the first person, told a story of being abducted, held in a cellar and tortured.

Elsewhere, the court heard gardai had to re-examine CCTV footage from Elaine O'Hara's apartment block after problems with certain dates arose during the trial.

Sgt Kevin Duggan, CCTV co-ordinator for the investigation, confirmed that he was never told about any issue or problem with footage until he was cross examined in the stand on February 4, 2015.

He was not aware of an issue raised with the incident room on January 12, 2015, relating to footage from June 2012, as he was out of the country, he said.

Sgt Duggan said the original footage has since been re-examined.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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