Graham Dwyer arrested as he answered door of Foxrock home a month after Elaine O'Hara's remains found, court hears
GRAHAM Dwyer was arrested as he answered the door at his Foxrock home when gardai arrived with a search warrant a month after Elaine O’Hara’s remains were found in the Dublin Mountains, the Central Criminal Court has heard.
The search of Mr Dwyer’s family home took place over the course of more than a day, Sgt Brian O’Keeffe told the jury.
He was giving evidence this morning, on the ninth day of the trial of Mr Dwyer.
The accused (42), an architect of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, is pleading not guilty to the murder of Elaine O’Hara (36) at Killakee, Rathfarnham on August 22, 2012.
Ms O’Hara, a childcare assistant from Killiney, was last seen alive near Shanganagh Cemetery in Shankill.
Her remains were found by a dog walker in undergrowth in the Dublin mountains on September 13, 2013, more than a year after she disappeared.
Prosecutor Sean Guerin SC said searches were carried out at the defendant’s home at Kerrymount Close and his workplace at A&D Wejchert architects on Baggot Street.
Remy Farrell SC, for the defence said he was accepting the legality of the searches.
Sgt O’Keeffe said he went to Dun Laoghaire District Court on October 16, 2013 and made an application for a warrant to search both premises. This was granted by Judge Bridget Reilly.
Sgt O’Keeffe took charge of the search of Kerrymount Close, while Sergeant Kevin Duggan took charge of the other search.
On October 17, he went to Blackrock Garda Station and a number of investigative steps were planned.
He then went with a number of colleagues to Kerrymount Close, some going to the front door and others to the rear.
Shortly after 7am “the accused man Graham Dwyer answered the front door and at that point Detective Sergeant Peter Woods arrested Mr Dwyer,” Mr Guerin said.
Sgt O’Keeffe agreed. The court heard he then entered the house with the search warrant.
Sgt O’Keeffe met the other occupants of the house, members of Mr Dwyer’s family, and arrangements were made to enable the search to proceed without interfering much with them.
Crime scene officers were among those who attended and a number of items seized, including an Audi and Land Rover parked there.
The search went on until the early hours of the following morning, was suspended and the scene preserved. It was renewed at 8am and finished at 11am on October 18.
Under cross examination, Sgt O’Keeffe agreed with defence counsel Remy Farrell that hard drives and USBs were laid out on the bed and photographed, including a bulk clip – described as a big paper clip.
Mr Farrell asked if the gardai considered the paper clip to be relevant given that some were discovered on Killakee mountain.
“Yes,” said Sgt O’Keeffe.
Mr Farrell said photographs were also taken of items in Mr Dwyer’s shed, including screws and cable ties.
“Everything was photographed,” Sgt O’Keeffe replied.
Det Sgt Kevin Duggan told the court he was part of a second team that searched Mr Dwyer’s workplace - A & D Wejchert at 23 Lower Baggot Street in Dublin 2 – on October 17, 2013.
He met Paddy Fletcher, a partner in the firm, and explained why they were there, what the purpose was and what they intended to do.
Sgt Duggan agreed with Mr Guerin that Mr Fletcher showed him around and pointed out various locations in the office, including Mr Dwyer’s work station.
Several items of interest were seized, labelled and placed in exhibits bags and handed back in to Blackrock Garda Station that evening, the court heard.
“We focused on all aspects, but we concentrated this search on Graham Dwyer’s work station and places he had access to,” he told Mr Farrell under cross examination.
Exhibits officer Garda Michael McArdle recorded all the items seized from the architects firm, he said.
They included two laptops, a memory stick, computer towers, mobile phone records from 2011, a certificate of membership for Roundwood Golden Eagles, a disc in a disc holder with Roundwood Eagles written on it, a business card for the International Aerobatic Club, a letter from Tower Hobbies.
The court heard Garda McArdle also recorded the seizure of a 3G mobile phone record for an 087 number from 2011, an annual corporate membership of the Irish-Polish Business Association for the accused, miscellaneous e-mails between the accused and Siobhan McKevitt regarding pay.
There was also a feasibility study form for travel to Poland, a timesheet from 2012 for the accused, a mileage spreadsheet for 2012 and 2013 and payslips from the same year.
Also seized was Mr Dwyer’s daily attendance record for May 30, 2010 to October 7, 2013, a holiday attendance sheet, records of minutes of a meeting on June 7, 2013 at 9am, minutes of another meeting on June 15, 2011 at 10am at the student services building at Carlow IT, the accused’s time sheet for July 1, to July 22, 2012.
There was an email from Mr Dwyer to Ms McKevitt dated May 23, 2011.
Detective Sergeant David Conway, recalled to give evidence, confirmed photographs that had been taken at a second site at Killakee, owned by Coillte on September 21, 2013
These were photos of items including black masking tape, string, a black cloth strap, plastic sheeting, what looked like a fishing line tied among the branches and cable ties, one with eight to nine brass screws through it.
There were items of clothing, a piece of wood covered in masking tape with brass screws through it, hacksaw blades with one end covered in masking tape, orange string, a black strap like a luggage strap with a buckle on it.
The trial continues.