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Ex-soldier said he murdered prostitute in bog and then played cards in casino, trial told


Jimmy Devaney (66)

Jimmy Devaney (66)

Jimmy Devaney (66)

The trial of a retired member of the defence forces accused of murdering a woman in Co Westmeath four years ago has heard that he told a man he had killed her.

Jimmy Devaney (66) of Millbrook Avenue, Monksland, Athlone has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Marie Greene in Westmeath on February 13, 2011.

The court has heard that Ms Greene, who was working as a prostitute, was last seen alive on the evening of February 13 and her body was found in a bog near Ballykieran outside Athlone nine days later.

The trial has heard the accused had been playing cards in a casino in Athlone that night as he regularly did but left and returned later that evening.

Alan Kavanagh, who owned the Lighthouse Casino in Custume Barracks, told the court that Mr Devaney was the first into the club that night.

He said the accused had told him there was a girl blackmailing him and said that he had killed her because she might tell his wife and children.

Mr Kavanagh testified that the accused told him who he had killed and that it had happened in a bog.

He told the court he had a CCTV system in the club and the accused asked him if he could get rid of the cameras.

"He just said that the girl was blackmailing him, she was driving him mad or whatever and he said she was going to tell his wife," said Mr Kavanagh.

He said he was not aware that Ms Greene was missing at that point but became aware of it at a later stage.

Mr Kavanagh agreed with Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC defending under cross-examination that he gave a statement to gardai that when Mr Devaney returned to the club there was a bit of what looked like blood on his shirt his hands were shaking also.

Alex Owens SC prosecuting told the jury that the evidence would be that for a number of years Ms Greene was a prostitute in Athlone and Mr Devaney was one of her clients.

The trial continues today before a jury of six women and six men presided over by Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan.