Thursday 23 November 2017

Victim's blood found on accused's nail, trial told

Catherine O'Connor is on trial over the murder of Jonathan Duke.
Catherine O'Connor is on trial over the murder of Jonathan Duke.
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A YOUNG man whose bound body was recovered from a river had suffered over 60 different injuries with broken glass protruding from one of his slash wounds.

The revelation came as a forensic scientist told a murder trial he found the blood of Jonathan 'Dukie' Duke (27) under the fingernail of the accused, Catherine O'Connor (37).

Ms O'Connor denies the murder of Mr Duke at Bridge House, Bandon, Co Cork, on November 13, 2011.

The father of one died from mechanical strangulation with two ligatures, one a long electrical cable with the plug still attached, wrapped four times around his neck.

A blood trail from where Mr Duke was found in the river led to the front door of his apartment complex, up the stairs, along the landing and into the top floor flat.

Forensic scientist, Dr John Hoade, told a Central Criminal Court murder trial he tested swabs of blood taken from the accused by gardai.

One of these was from underneath a fingernail on her right hand. It proved to be a DNA match for Mr Duke.

Dr Hoade said it indicated there had been contact.

"It just means a person was in contact with the blood when it was wet," he said.


Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster confirmed that Mr Duke had sustained multiple bruises and abrasions to his hands and fingers indicative of possible defensive injuries.

Ms O'Connor, of Bridge House, Sean Hales Place, Bandon, insisted she has no memory of anything that night after drinking up to four bottles of vodka and taking magic mushrooms.

Gardai have testified that they found Ms O'Connor, on arrival at Bridge House, in her underwear and with blood on both her hands and feet.

Dr Bolster, who examined Flat 3 in Bridge House, told the eighth day of the trial she saw a large pool of blood in the centre of the floor as well as numerous blood spatters and smears.

Dr Bolster said Mr Duke did not drown and was either dead or dying when his body was dumped into the river.

The trial continues today.

Irish Independent

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