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Saturday 15 December 2018

Murder accused heard calling out to unconscious girlfriend

Cork murder trial hears from the first responders at the scene

A murder-accused told emergency services during a 999 call he was performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on mother of three Nicola Collins (38) and that: 'Jesus Christ, I am trying to bring my girlfriend back to life'.

Cathal O'Sullivan (45), when later asked by emergency services personnel to leave the bedroom of his Cork flat while they tried to resuscitate Ms Collins, refused to quit the area and said that he "was used to seeing dead people and would rather stay".

The revelation came as Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a Central Criminal Court jury of nine men and three woman heard evidence for the second day in the murder trial.

Cathal O'Sullivan of 6A Popham's Road, Farranree, Cork but who is originally from Charleville, denies the murder of Ms Collins at the flat on March 27 2017. Ms Collins was a native of Tralee, Co Kerry but had been living over recent years at Clashduv in Cork.

Prosecutor Tom Creed SC told the trial in his opening address it was the State case that the defendant beat Ms Collins to death.

The trial was told Ms Collins arrived at the flat by taxi on March 23 - and was last caught by CCTV footage at 11.24am on March 24.

A post mortem found that the Kerry-born mother had died from a serious head injury caused by blunt force trauma. However, she had also sustained a broken jaw, had two missing front teeth and had bruises to her arms, face, lips, neck, abdomen and breast.

There were also signs of asphyxia.

The trial heard that the defendant rang 999 shortly after 3am on March 27 2017 to request an ambulance. After repeated requests by the controller to confirm the address required for the ambulance, the defendant replied: "As soon as possible, please ... Jesus Christ, I am trying to bring my girlfriend back to life.

"She is not breathing, like."

The tape recording detailed how the controller told the defendant to take Ms Collins out of the bed and place her on the floor to facilitate cardiac-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

As he was moving Ms Collins onto the floor, the audio detailed how the defendant said: "Oh my God ... Nicola, come on, Nicola, Nicola - ah Nicola".

The defendant insisted he had repeatedly performed CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation without effect.

The trial heard that Ms Collins was found lying naked on her back on the flat floor with her legs resting on the edge of the bed.

There were blood spatters all over both the bedroom and bathroom.

Blood stained clothing were found in the flat as well as a large number of empty alcohol cans and flagons.

Det Garda John Ford, a crime scene examiner, told the court he found multiple blood spatters all over the flat as well as a clump of blonde hair on a glass table.

Cork Fire Brigade official Tadhg O'Mahony was the first at the scene, receiving a call out alert at 3.09am and reaching the scene at 3.13am.

He told the trial he saw the defendant standing on the road outside the flat and waving at the arriving emergency services.

"He appeared calm when I arrived at the scene," he said.

The defendant brought the emergency services members into the upstairs bedroom of the flat, over a Gala shop, where Ms Collins' body was lying on the floor.

Mr O'Mahony said they immediately commenced CPR, moved the bed to facilitate their work and asked Mr O'Sullivan to leave the bedroom.

"He said he was used to seeing dead people and he would rather stay," he said.

Mr O'Mahony said the defendant told him he woke up to find Ms Collins in distress. "(He said) that he had gone to bed at 2am and he woke up hearing gurgling noises (from Ms Collins)."

The trial heard the defendant told paramedics he put her in the recovery position but that she then stopped breathing.

Ms Collins was pronounced dead at the scene before she could be transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH).

The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.

Corkman

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