herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Husband denies affair with accused

The husband of a Dublin artist has denied having an affair with the house cleaner accused of stealing paintings worth €28,595 from his wife.

Roza Komorova (46), from Brehon Grove, Ballinteer, Co Dublin, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to theft of the paintings from Louise Mansfield's home on Brennanstown Road, Cabinteely on September 5, 2011.

Ms Mansfield's husband, Theo Hanley, said he has never been unfaithful in the 38 years of their marriage.

"Certainly if I was to be unfaithful it wouldn't be with Ms Komorova," Mr Hanley told John Berry, BL, defending.

Mr Hanley said that he first heard of the allegation on Monday after his wife's evidence. He said Ms Komorova worked for around 10 years for €10 an hour up until her arrest, and his wife dealt with the payment.

Mr Hanley denied giving Ms Komorova two cars as gifts. He said he still owns one and she paid him €200 for the other. He also denied paying money into her credit card account. He said he knew that she was getting statements sent to their home because she moved house a lot.

Mr Hanley denied meeting Ms Komorova in Foxrock in the spring of 2013, two years after her arrest, to apologise about the prosecution. He described it as "Walter Mitty affair stuff" and said he had no contact with Ms Komorova.

Ms Komorova, a Ukrainian national, gave evidence through an interpreter that she returned one of the cars because she didn't want it. She said that Mr Hanley gave her gifts and money for her credit card because they were "very, very good friends".

When asked to be more explicit and elaborate for the jury by Mr Berry, she said, "Sometimes we were sleeping together. We had a relationship".

searched

Earlier the lead investigator in the case, Detective Sergeant Michael Grogan, told the court that on the morning of the alleged theft, following a tip-off from Ms Mansfield, gardai stopped and searched Ms Komorova's van after it left the house.

He said they found 21 paintings signed "Louise Mansfield" stacked sideways in the back of the vehicle. Ms Komorova said they belonged to her.

Yesterday she said she told gardai the paintings were hers because she didn't understand the phrasing of the question.

The prosecution and defence have closed their cases and the trial will continue on Monday before Judge Mary Ellen Ring and a jury.

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