Tuesday 22 October 2019

'What the guards will know' - writing uncovered by expert on paper at Patrick Quirke's house

Handwriting expert Detective Garda Jeremiah Moloney. Picture: Frank McGrath
Handwriting expert Detective Garda Jeremiah Moloney. Picture: Frank McGrath
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Indentations on a sheet of paper found in Patrick Quirke's office revealed evidence of previously written points, including "What the guards will know" and "dispose of clothes\phone\other evidence".

The notes were discovered on an A4 sheet of paper on which was written a series of visible questions heard by the jury on Tuesday.

Mr Quirke (50), of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Bobby Ryan (52), a part-time DJ known as Mr Moonlight on a date between June 3, 2011 and April 2013.

Detective Garda Jeremiah Moloney from the document and handwriting section of the technical bureau told the murder trial that he used an electrostatic detection apparatus that can detect, or cause to be detected, indentations on a sheet of paper.

Michael Bowman SC for the prosecution asked if it rendered visible to the naked eye what would otherwise be invisible and the garda said that in some cases the indentations are visible but in the main the indentations are not visible.

Det Gda Moloney explained he could not decipher all the words in each line and so left a blank where he could not make the word out.

On the front on the page found in Mr Quirke's office, he discovered indentations at the top which read "pallet chains", followed by "Gary ( ) empty tank two loads", as well as "agitate need water".

Line nine on that page read "get load of ( ) following".

Amongst the indentations on the back of the page was found: "What the guards will know", "murdered poss in house" and the words "dispose" and "Mary".

The word "location?" was found, followed by the word "yes" encircled.

Line 16 read "dispose of clothes\phone\any other evidence", said Dt Gda Moloney.

Between lines 20 and 21 were the words "phone pinged".

Line 25 read "Mary had to see\be with him".

Line 29 read "Mary ( ) needle in haystack".

Line 33 read: "very strange re token search for photos".

Line 36 read "Did not act on leads ie travelling - salesman", while line 37 read: "Bobby stayed in yard ie 2 mins\10 mins".

The point "relieved after" was next found, followed by "later ripping down photos".

Part of a mobile phone number was also deciphered by the garda.

Mr Bowman put it to him that it appeared more words could be observed but that he was not confident enough to transcribe them and Det Gda Moloney agreed, saying: "Anything I couldn't interpret or read I didn't transfer into handwritten form."

Words might be less legible because the pressure on the page might not be so high, he agreed.

Under cross-questioning, by Lorcan Staines SC for the defence, the garda agreed there were many more indentations on the page.

Mr Staines put it to him that there was "at some point so much cross writing you can't make out anything" and he agreed.

He also agreed the indentations may have come from multiple pages.

The trial also heard from solicitor Aidan Leahy who acted for Ms Lowry in 2012 when she notified Mr Quirke she was terminating the lease on her land.

Mr Leahy told the trial that on December 12 he sent a letter to Mr Quirke saying Ms Lowry had "reluctantly" instructed him to write to him because she had "a number of matters of concern" and wished to terminate their lease arrangement.

The letter stated that Mr Quirke should be aware the intruder alarm at Ms Lowry's home had been activated "on numerous occasions", and while she was not making any allegations she did report the matter to the guards, though had not made an official statement.

Mr Leahy said it was also noted that Mr Quirke appeared to have interfered with Ms Lowry's letters, looked through her windows and "interfered with items on her clothes line".

The letter asked Mr Quirke to refrain from entering Ms Lowry's property and restrict his activities to the farmland and to daytime hours, if possible.

A reply from Mr Quirke's legal representative said there were "many inaccuracies" in the previous letter that he was not going to comment on at that stage.

He was "extremely disappointed" matters had deteriorated between them.

And he said his mother-in-law lives at Fawnagowan and "looks forward" to his visits and he was anxious this would continue.

A reply from Ms Lowry said these terms were acceptable and also asked Mr Quirke to empty the slatted tank which was full.

A subsequent reply said Mr Quirke would not do this as they were full when he took over the lease.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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