herald

Friday 15 December 2017

'Books will be written and movies made about this trial'

COURT: Defence tells jury that they are being asked to 'paper over the cracks' in the case against Dwyer

Graham Dwyer
Graham Dwyer

THE evidence in the Graham Dwyer trial was "repellent" but the jury is being asked to "paper over the cracks" in the case against him, his defence lawyer has argued.

Remy Farrell SC, told the jury in his closing speech that they had been asked by the prosecution to convict Mr Dwyer of murder without the evidence.

He said a lot of the evidence in the case had been emotive and "a lot of buttons were pushed" to shock the jury.

Mr Farrell told the Central Criminal Court the public and "bar-stool jurors" expected the jury to convict Mr Dwyer and if they acquitted him they would be doing "the unpopular thing".

Referring to the huge public interest in the trial he said: "Books will be written, movies will be made," joking that George Clooney would play him and Benedict Cumberbatch would be Prosecutor Sean Guerin.

Earlier, Mr Guerin had closed the prosecution's case by saying Mr Dwyer showed himself to be a "sadistic and brutal pervert with nothing on his mind but murder" in text messages and documents.

REMAINS

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 he killed her to satisfy his own sexual urge to stab a woman to death.

Mr Farrell first read the opening lines of a graphic account of a rape and murder found on a hard drive at Mr Dwyer's home.

"I had always fantasised about killing ever since I was a teenager and I got hard every time I had a knife in my hand, wielding the power knowing that I could decide who lived and died, Just like my hero. God," Mr Farrell read.

"These are undisputedly the words of Graham Dwyer," he added.

He said what the jury had seen could be described as difficult and distasteful, even repellent.

However, Mr Farrell said Mr Dwyer was and remained entitled to a presumption of innocence.

"You have seen Mr Dwyer on video engaging in explicit sexual acts and however abhorrent, wrong, unusual or disgusting you rated this, you have seen him in a particular way," he said.

Mr Farrell said he was not there to convince them that Mr Dwyer was a nice guy or that his interviews with gardai were examples of searing truth and candour. He said there was a lot of evidence bringing the prosecution so far, but no further and there was a "gaping chasm" in its case.

He maintained that every time the prosecution tried to make the distinction between reality and fantasy they attempted to jump this gap.

But when they tell the jurors what happened on Killakee mountain on August 22, 2012, they "come up short".

"Sean Guerin said this was a murder with a knife, not asphyxiation, not a gun shot," Mr Farrell said.

He pointed out there was no established cause of death. He said the evidence did not stack up with the prosecution's claim that Mr Dwyer acted out a multiple stabbing like one outlined in the "Killing Darci" fantasy story as there was no nicking on any of Ms O'Hara's bones.

EVIDENCE

"Cast a cold and rational eye over the evidence, you need to do it in a way the gardai in this case didn't," he told the jury.

"This is about who owns a particular telephone. You have to ask yourself whether you accept Mr Dwyer is the owner of the phone."

He added that, whatever the truth about the ownership of the phone, the prosecution's case was "wobbly".

He claimed anything the garda investigation threw up as suicide, and anything that conflicted with idea that Graham Dwyer killed Elaine O'Hara, was brushed under the carpet.

He said the prosecution had "cherry picked" its evidence and anything that did not fit with its case was "dumped overboard."

He pointed to a rusty blade at the scene where the remains were found which three gardai "forgot" about.

Mr Farrell said the prosecution had put forward evidence that Mr Dwyer's spade was "up the side of Killakee mountain" and it "didn't get more damming than that". However, the next day forensic scientists told the court the splatters of paint on the spade meant it was not a match.

Of Killakee, he said: "It is undoubtedly remote, but not nearly as remote as the prosecution suggest."

He also argued with Mr Guerin's claims that Ms O'Hara was naked when she was killed because she died in an act of sexual gratification.

But Deputy State Pathologist, Dr Michael Curtis had said told decomposed tissue found inside the track suit bottoms "made it clear she had been wearing them when she died, and laces on running shoes were still tied".

DESIRES

He said during medical evidence when suicidal ideation and desires were raised, the prosecution sought to dispute that and suggest that Ms O'Hara had "skipped out the door" of St Edmundsbury Hospital.

"They suggest that she was suicidal but not very," he said. "This is a very fine distinction that the prosecution are seeking to draw."

He asked why the prosecution was insisting on intuitive leaps and flights of fancy.

"When you ask yourself that you come to a very clear conclusion," Mr Farrell said.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt is expected to deliver his charge to the jury on Monday.

hnews@herald.ie

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