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Accused told taximan about 'great girl' hours before killing, trial told

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Sean Nolan and Ms Carroll

Sean Nolan and Ms Carroll

Sean Nolan and Ms Carroll

An electrician accused of murdering a mother-of-two told a taxi driver that he loved his partner and she was "a great girl" hours before he killed her, a trial has heard.

The jury also heard that Sean Nolan and Amanda Carroll had been involved in a road collision earlier that day and both had fled the scene.

The accused man's bloods were taken as there was a concern he was drink-driving or drug-driving, the court heard.

Ms Carroll was arrested and handcuffed with her hands behind her back after striking out at gardaí, the trial also heard.

Mr Nolan (36), of Ashington Crescent, Navan Road in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of his partner Ms Carroll (33) at Homestead Court, Quarry Road, Cabra, Dublin 7 on October 21, 2018.

Ms Carroll's body was found in the bedroom of her apartment by her then 16-year-old son Denis, who had left the house that morning to play football not knowing that his mother was dead.

Denis told the murder trial at the Central Criminal Court last week that he could see his mother was not breathing.

"I could see her cheek was puffy and she was cold. I knew that I was not going to see her again," he said.

Hugging

Taxi driver Andrew Farrell told prosecution counsel Shane Costelloe SC yesterday that he was driving past Dorset Street at 10pm on October 20, when he saw a couple hugging.

Mr Farrell said the couple, who he now knew to be Mr Nolan and Ms Carroll, later flagged his taxi and he brought them to Homestead Court.

The witness testified that he asked Mr Nolan if Ms Carroll was alright.

"It was obvious she had a couple of drinks on her," he added.

The accused man told Mr Farrell that Ms Carroll was fine and not to worry, he said.

The witness testified that Mr Nolan said to him during the fare that he "loved this girl" and she was "a great girl".

Under cross-examination, Mr Farrell agreed with the defence that he had told gardaí in his statement that Mr Nolan was holding Ms Carroll up.

The witness agreed with Mr O'Higgins that the accused had told him: "I love this girl, she is a great girl. I know her a few weeks."

Mr Farrell said he replied: "It's great when you find your soulmate."

The witness said Mr Nolan was genuinely looking out for his partner on the night.

Opening the trial, prosecution counsel Mr Costelloe said that Mr Nolan's plea means he accepts he killed Ms Carroll.

However, counsel said the prosecution case is that when Mr Nolan "put his hands on the throat and mouth of the deceased" he intended to kill or cause serious injury and is therefore guilty of murder.

The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Michael MacGrath and a jury.