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Murder accused ‘distracted gardai’ looking for Aoife

a murder trial jury has seen CCTV footage of a truck dumping “filling gravel” at the site where a Laois nanny’s body was found buried on the accused man’s property.

The footage from the morning after Aoife Phelan disappeared was shown to the Central Criminal Court yesterday in the trial of the 25-year-old charged with her murder.

Robert Corbet, of Sheffield Cross, Laois, has pleaded not guilty to her murder. However, he has admitted her manslaughter between October 25 and November 7, 2012, when her body was found in a barrel buried in Capoley, near Portlaoise.

The court heard yesterday that the accused took gardai on “a wild goose chase” when they found her body, pointing out where he said he had killed her and disposed of her body.

Mr Corbet was arrested on suspicion of murder on November 5. He first denied involvement but began to make admissions.

He said Ms Phelan had told him she was pregnant with his child and that he killed her in his jeep after she threatened to ruin him if he walked away.

Captured

Det Sgt Brian Hanley testified that the accused showed gardai where he had collected Ms Phelan and where he had later pulled on to a hard shoulder.

“It’s acknowledged that this was a wild goose chase,” said the defence. “We know Ms Phelan met her end on the lands or property of the Corbet family.”

CCTV footage shown to the court was captured at the Corbet yard at 10.36am and showed a truck reversing to a point on a map marked Body’, which then unloaded its contents.

Gda Eamon O’Connell testified that he attended a search of the Corbet home and land at Capoley on November 6, 2012.

He said he came across rubble, concrete, hard-core filling and builder’s waste. At a depth of six to eight feet, he came across lorry tyres, bags of domestic waste and an oil drum.

He alerted his sergeant, who was searching the River Barrow, where the accused had told gardai he had dumped the body.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan.

hnews@herald.ie


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