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Thursday 14 November 2019

Chainsaw disposed of by man 'who knew dad had killed', court hears

Paul Wells Jnr has pleaded not guilty
Paul Wells Jnr has pleaded not guilty

A man has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court accused of impeding the investigation into the murder of Kenneth O'Brien by disposing of a chainsaw seen to have "red dots and pieces of flesh" on it.

The prosecution has alleged that the accused man, who endured a "life of hardship" under his father, dumped parts of the chainsaw in different locations, knowing his father had taken a life.

Paul Wells Jnr (33), of Beatty Park, Celbridge, Co Kildare, has pleaded not guilty to impeding the apprehension or prosecution of his father, Paul Wells Snr (51), by disposing of a chainsaw motor between January 19 and 20, 2016, in Co Kildare.

Mr Wells Jnr has also pleaded not guilty to impeding the apprehension or prosecution of Wells Snr by disposing of a chainsaw blade and chain on January 20, 2016, in Co Kildare.

Clinical

In his opening address, prosecuting counsel Michael Bowman asked the jury to be "cold, clinical and detached" in its assessment of the evidence as it will hear Mr Wells Jnr had endured a "life of hardship" under his father.

Mr Bowman said the jury will hear about the sort of man Wells Snr was and how he was far from the role model anyone would aspire to be as a father.

Wells Snr was jailed for life last year, having been found guilty of murdering Kenneth O'Brien at his home in Finglas on January 15 or 16, 2016.

Wells Snr admitted that, after shooting the 33-year-old father in his back garden, he dismembered his body and dumped it in a suitcase in the Grand Canal.

Outlining the facts of the case, Mr Bowman said Mr O'Brien died from a close-range shot to the head, which was fired from a handgun.

Following this, his body was dismembered with a chainsaw and secreted at different locations.

The chainsaw was given to the accused on January 20, 2016, he said, and dumped in different locations at the Curragh and Grand Canal.

The accused man did this knowing or believing that his father had taken the life of an individual, said Mr Bowman, adding that the facts which the jury will receive during the case fit the definition of assisting an offender.

The court will also hear, the barrister said, that Wells Snr lived with his wife and youngest son at Barnamore Park, Finglas.

Mr Wells Jnr was the eldest of five children and lived with his partner and young daughter in Celbridge, Mr Bowman said.

On the evening of January 16, Wells Snr made arrangements to meet his son, the accused man, in a car park, but their relationship was strained at this stage, he said.

A stag party had been arr-anged for Mr Wells Jnr and everyone was to go to Latvia on January 22, he said, adding that this was the reason they had met in the car park.

They went on a journey in the car, but Mr Wells Jnr felt uncomfortable in the circumstances in which his father presented himself, said Mr Bowman.

Splashes

At one point, Wells Snr got out of the car and the accused man heard splashes and a bag being taken from the back of the vehicle and dumped. When they returned home, Mr Wells Jnr observed the "unusual" way his father was acting.

The following day, Wells Snr gave a bag to one of his other sons and asked him to give it to Mr Wells Jnr.

"In that bag was a chainsaw. The machine was open and the defendant said in his garda interviews that he had observed red dots and pieces of flesh," said Mr Bowman, adding that this was later disposed of in two different locations.

Parts of Mr O'Brien's body were later found in a suitcase in the Grand Canal. The motor frame of the chainsaw was retrieved on January 22.

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