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Wednesday 23 August 2017

Graham Dwyer trial: 'I don't know what you're talking about' - accused to gardai after he was arrested on suspicion of murdering Elaine O'Hara

Elaine O'Hara (left) and murder accused Graham Dwyer
Elaine O'Hara (left) and murder accused Graham Dwyer

MURDER accused Graham Dwyer told gardai: “I don’t know what you are talking about” when he was arrested on suspicion of the murder of Elaine O’Hara, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

The accused gave the response when his rights were read to him at his south Dublin home, where he was given time to get dressed before he was brought into custody and questioned.

The arresting garda, Detective Sergeant Peter Woods, was giving evidence in the trial of Mr Dwyer this morning.

The jury also heard that another video was found on a hard drive seized at the accused's home that showed him strangling Ms O’Hara with a plastic bag over her head until she went limp.

READ MORE: Graham Dwyer trial: ‘You have this hold over me that terrifies me’ – text sent on day Elaine went missing

None of the videos found by the gardai featured the accused’s wife, the court was told.

Mr Dwyer (42), an architect of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, is pleading not guilty to the murder of Ms O’Hara (36), a childcare assistant, at Killakee, Rathfarnham on August 22, 2012.

Her remains were found by a dog walker in undergrowth in the Dublin mountains on September 13, 2013.

The prosecution maintains Mr Dwyer killed her for his own sexual gratification.

Det Sgt Woods agreed with Sean Guerin SC, prosecuting, that he went to the home of the accused on October 17, 2013, when the search was to take place and for the purpose of arresting Mr Dwyer.

READ MORE: Graham Dwyer work phone tracked day before disappearance

They arrived at 7.08am. Det Sgt Woods agreed that Mr Dwyer was arrested on suspicion of the murder of Elaine O’Hara and confirmed that he cautioned Mr Dwyer at the time.

“I said you are not obliged to say anything unless you wish to do so and whatever you say will be taken down in writing and may be given in evidence against you,” Det Sgt Woods told the court.

Mr Guerin asked what the accused had replied.

“He said 'I don’t know what you are talking about’,” Det Sgt Woods said.

The jury heard the accused was given the opportunity to “prepare himself and dress” and he was taken outside to a patrol car.

READ MORE: Graham Dwyer trial: The final 24 hours of texts

Det Sgt Woods said Mr Dwyer had been allowed first to get his phone and wallet and he also opened two garden sheds that were under combination lock to facilitate the search.

Mr Guerin said Det Sgt Woods had had a conversation in the patrol car with Mr Dwyer on the way to Blackrock Garda Station.

“I told him that he should consult a solicitor, that he was arrested for the most serious offence that you could be arrested for and that he needed proper legal advice,” Det Sgt Woods said.

He also explained Mr Dwyer’s rights under treatment of persons in custody legislation.

READ MORE: Graham Dwyer Trial: ‘Help me to kill somebody and I will give you a child’ - text sent to Elaine’s phone

He also told the accused he was entitled to know the reason for his arrest. They arrived at the station at 7.41am.

Mr Guerin had first told the jury of the videos that had been found on hard drives at the accused’s home. He said clips shown to the jury had featured stabbing but others showed general sexual activity or BDSM “of one sort or the other”, including the “use or pretend use of a knife”.

Mr Guerin said one aspect of text messages the jury had heard about previously was strangulation and there was one video in which this was featured.

“Yes, where Mr Dwyer and Ms O’Hara are clearly identifiable,” Det Sgt Woods said.

READ MORE: Prostitute, estate agent and homeless woman - list of 'victims' in text messages linked to Graham Dwyer

He confirmed to Mr Guerin that there were six videos which showed the accused and deceased. He was able to identify two apartments in Blackrock where Ms O’Hara had lived and a mole that was on Ms O’Hara’s body, as well as a tattoo on the accused’s.

Remy Farrell SC, defending, pointed out that the identities in the videos were not disputed.

Mr Guerin said there were other women in the videos but “the wife of the accused is not one of them.”

“No she is not,” Det Sgt Woods said.

READ MORE: "You should let me inflict pain on you" - text allegedly sent by the accused

Mr Guerin then said the strangulation clip was one in which “Graham Dwyer is seen kneeling behind Ms O’Hara and placing a clear plastic bag over her head and wrapping a cable around her neck so as to seal the bag. He can be seen tightening the cable and at a certain point in the video, Ms O’Hara is seen going limp and falling to one side.”

“That is right,” Det Sgt Woods agreed.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt a jury of seven men and five women.

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