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Cause of death 'unknown' despite woman's 'bag over head' claims

A cause of death for a 31-year-old-man who was found dead in his apartment in suspicious circumstances has yet to be determined - despite the fact that a woman has previously admitted killing him.

At the opening of the inquest into the death of Ian Quinn, Dublin coroner Dr Brian Farrell told his family that state pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy has yet to establish why he died.

Mr Quinn, a father-of-one, was found dead at his apartment in Annaly Grove, Ongar, Dublin 15 in the early hours of May 31 this year. The alarm was raised when neighbours heard screaming from his apartment.

Gardai are treating his death as suspicious and two women in their 30s were arrested shortly after the body was discovered. They were subsequently released without charge.

One of those women is Anne Marie Pezzillo (31) who gave an interview to the Sunday World newspaper after the death.

In the newspaper interview, the convicted female criminal said she killed Quinn but claimed it was in self-defence. She said a fight started after she tried to help Quinn's girlfriend clean him up when they all fell asleep after drinking heavily.

"When we woke up, Ian was after wetting himself, so we started taking his clothes off, but he got aggressive and hit me in the face," she said.

"He punched me a few times. I pushed him then against the wall and he fell and banged his head," she said.

bag

"Then I put a bag over his head. I was saying: 'If he gets up, he is going to kill us.' It didn't even seem like it was on for a long time. Then his girlfriend got up and walked into the bedroom. I followed her and we fell asleep."

Pezzillo said that initially when she woke up, she did not realise that Quinn was dead and went in to check on him.

"When I woke up, I realised what I had done. I had been very, very drunk and I had taken tablets - 'zimos'. I just thought he was unconscious. Then when we went out, his girlfriend was touching him and said 'he's very cold' and I said 'I think he's dead'," she added.

The post-mortem was subsequently carried out by Professor Marie Cassidy at Connolly Hospital.

However, Dr Farrell said that in her preliminary report she is saying that the cause of death is "undetermined".

"There are a number of possibilities which are the subject of ongoing investigations," he said.

Detective Sergeant Dan Callaghan said that Prof Cassidy is "further considering the results of the autopsy and the cause of death should result".

The court also heard that gardai are carrying out a criminal investigation into the death and will be sending a file to the director of public prosecutions.

Dr Farrell adjourned the inquest for further mention on May 15 next year but told the family that he would bring the matter forward if a cause of death is determined.

kfoy@herald.ie


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