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No answers for family of Marioara after acquittal

THE FAMILY of Marioara Rostas did not react as the jury delivered its verdict on Alan Wilson after just under three hours: 'Not guilty'.

Her father Dumitru and other relations filed out of the Central Criminal Court to speak to an interpreter and gardai before leaving without comment.

Questions about Marioara's violent death now remain unanswered following Wilson's acquittal.

Wilson (35) was cleared of murder following a six-week trial in which his former friend claimed to have helped him bury Marioara's body after she was shot dead.

Fergus O'Hanlon (37), a convicted criminal, maintained he returned home to find Marioara dead in his bedroom and Wilson with a gun in his hand.

He made detailed allegations of helping Wilson strip her to her underwear and wrap her in plastic before bringing her body to the Dublin Mountains where it was buried in a shallow grave.

Prosecutors accepted that nearly their entire case relied on O'Hanlon's testimony.

However, the defence maintained he was a "compulsive liar" and trial judge Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy warned against convicting Wilson based on his uncorroborated evidence.

The 10 men and two women of the jury unanimously found Wilson not guilty.

Wilson (35), of New Street Gardens, Dublin 8, had denied murdering Marioara at Brabazon Street, The Coombe, between January 7 and 8, 2008.

During the trial, Marioara's younger brother Dumitru, who was 13-years-old at the time, said he was begging with his sister at the junction of Lombard Street and Pearse Street on January 6 that year. She had arrived in Ireland just 18 days earlier. He saw her get into a Ford Mondeo with a man who said he was bringing her to McDonald's for food. The man gave him €10 and drove off with his sister.

DISTRESSED

He was asked to view an identification parade, but could not say for sure if the man was in it.

He provided a partial registration to gardai who later established that the car was registered to Wilson at the time.

The next day, a distressed Mariaora managed to make a phone call to her brother Alexandru in Romania asking for her "daddy to come and get her" before being cut off.

O'Hanlon was the prosecution's key witness.

He had originally been arrested on suspicion of having information about the crime but was subsequently granted immunity from prosecution.

He told the jury he was called back to his home on January 8, 2008.

He alleged Alan Wilson was there with a rifle and told him he "wanted to show him something". O'Hanlon had told the jury Wilson brought him to an upstairs bedroom and showed him the corpse.

He was physically sick but said he helped to undress the body, leaving her in her underwear and bra.

The body was then rolled in sheets of plastic and duct tape, folded and put in a bag in the boot of Wilson's Ford Mondeo before being driven to the Dublin Mountains, O'Hanlon claimed.

He said Wilson first "looked round for a pre-prepared bunker", it was not found and O'Hanlon said they instead dug a shallow grave and buried her.

O'Hanlon claimed he was then instructed to clean up the house at Brabazon Street, which was subject to arson and damaged in a fire the following month.

hnews@herald.ie


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