Wednesday 26 September 2018

Graham Dwyer lodges appeal against his murder conviction

Graham Dwyer

Murderer Graham Dwyer has lodged an appeal against his conviction for the murder of childcare worker Elaine O’Hara.

The 42-year-old architect was sentenced to life imprisonment for the killing that shocked the nation after he was unanimously found guilty by a jury at the Central Criminal Court in March.

On that day he was given 21 days to lodge an appeal by the trial judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt.

The Herald has learned that his appeal papers have now been lodged with the court authorities as the deadline for the appeal expiring loomed later today.

It is understood that the appeal was initiated last week but lodgement of papers was only confirmed today.

READ MORE: Killer Dwyer has until end of the day to appeal conviction for brutal murder

It is not yet known under what grounds Graham Dwyer is making his appeal.

The issues the callous killer is likely to raise include the mobile phone evidence introduced by the prosecution, his questioning while in custody, and the decision to allow key witness Darci Day to give evidence by video link from the United States.

The appeal will be against the conviction rather than the length of sentence he received because a murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence which cannot  be altered.

After being convicted, Dwyer was put on suicide watch while still in Cloverhill Prison  because he had been so sure during his trial that he would be acquitted.

He had even bragged to prison guards that he would be having a steak dinner washed down with wine just hours before he was found guilty.

It was the third time during his incarceration that he was put on special observation.

There were also reports that Dwyer had started to talk to himself and lose concentration.

But Dwyer showed little emotion during the sentence hearing that handed him a life sentence.

He bowed his head only once, when Mr Justice Hunt referred to the “pitiful condition” in which he had left his wife Gemma.

Since being moved to the Midlands Prison following his sentencing Dwyer’s behaviour is reported by sources to be relatively uneventful.

“It seems his focus is on the appeal now and while he has that hope in his head he may not face the prospect of life behind bars head-on,” a source told the Herald.

Judge Hunt described the stabbing to death of Ms O’Hara by Dwyer as a chilling and premeditated murder, almost an execution, and said that the mandatory sentence was one which “he richly deserves”.

“It’s difficult to look beyond the chilling and premeditated murder, execution almost, carried out after a protracted campaign of the most vile manipulation and abuse of a woman who was too weak to resist and who made the fatal mistake of trusting Mr Dwyer that he wasn’t going to go any further than he indicated on August 22,” he said.

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