Tuesday 18 September 2018

Picture of severed toe found on mobile phone linked to the accused, murder trial is told

Gerard Donnelly
Gerard Donnelly

A photo of a severed toe was sent from a phone linked to a murder accused, a court has been told.

A jury heard evidence yesterday in the trial of 29-year-old Ciaran Moran, with an address at Camden Hall, Camden Street in Dublin, who is charged with murdering Gerard Donnelly at an unknown time between November 28 or 29, 2013.

Mr Donnelly's body was found on fire in the Phoenix Park by gardai.

The homeless dad-of-one died of blunt force trauma to the head before being set alight and having his little toe amputated.

Ciaran Moran, who is also homeless, has pleaded not guilty to murdering 36-year-old Donnelly.

The Central Criminal Court has heard that Mr Donnelly had €8,500 in cash and €140,000 in a bank account just weeks before he was killed.

Detective Garda Eamon O'Brien testified that he found an image of a toe on a Sony Xperia phone that a friend of the accused said he had taken from Mr Moran on November 30.

The detective said the image was in the sent folder of WhatsApp, a mobile application used to send messages.

He said it had been created at 10.41pm on November 29 and seemed to have been sent from the phone at that time. He did not have any information on the recipient.

Richard Doyle testified last week that he had taken the Sony phone from Mr Moran to call an ambulance for him on the night of November 30. He handed it over to gardai a few days later.


The trial also heard yesterday that gardai found a Sony Xperia box and a €170 menswear shop receipt dated November 29 under Mr Moran's bed.

Garda Ciara O'Sullivan said she searched under his bunk in Camden Hostel on December 1.

She found a bag from Penthouse Menswear, which contained a Sony Xperia box and a headphones box. She also found a receipt for €170 from Penthouse in Jervis Shopping Centre from 3.19pm on November 29.

Garda Jennifer Connolly showed the jury a compilation of CCTV footage, which she said depicted Mr Moran's movements in the days before and after the alleged murder.

Footage from 10.22pm on November 28 showed three people walking past the Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) on Parkgate Street in the direction of the park. She pointed out the person she believed to be the accused and explained that the CCJ was the last building before the park entrance.

She then played footage captured at Mr Moran's hostel at 9.20am the following day. She pointed out Ciaran Moran.

"I believe this may be cash in his possession," she said of what he was holding in his hand.

The next footage played was captured at the AIB branch at 11.25am that day. Connelly pointed out Mr Moran approaching a self-service lodgement machine where he appears to lodge a large sum of cash.

The trial continues.

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