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Thursday 14 December 2017

Jury shown CCTV footage 'of accused visiting Elaine's apartment block 9 times'

Architect Graham Dwyer is accused of the murder of Elaine O’Hara (inset), from Killiney, Co Dublin
Architect Graham Dwyer is accused of the murder of Elaine O’Hara (inset), from Killiney, Co Dublin
Elaine O’Hara’s father Frank
Elaine O'Hara

THE jury in the trial of Graham Dwyer has been shown CCTV footage which the prosecuation claims shows the architect calling to Elaine O'Hara's apartment complex nine times - including one visit which happened a week before she disappeared.

Among the footage played back to the Central Criminal Court was a brief clip of Mr Dwyer and Ms O'Hara arriving together in the lobby of the building before taking the lift.

Mr Dwyer (42), of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, is pleading not guilty to the murder of Ms 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.

The footage from Belarmine Plaza, Stepaside was dated between January and August 2012 and was shown to the jury by Det Sgt Kevin Duggan.

It showed Mr Dwyer entering the lobby, taking either the lift or stairway up, and leaving after times ranging from a minute to just under an hour and 15 minutes.

Mr Dwyer, in a dark suit, white shirt, red tie and wearing glasses, watched the video from a monitor in front of him while it was also played back on larger screens, visible to all in the court including Ms O'Hara's father who sat in the public gallery.

Read More: Diving mask and A condom among items gardai found

The first clip was dated January 21, 2012 when Ms O'Hara was seen leaving the apartment at 9.19am that morning. Mr Dwyer was seen arriving at 2.17pm and leaving ten minutes later. She returned at 4.57pm.

On April 6, 2012 Ms O'Hara left at 9.30am and Mr Dwyer arrived at 5.46pm, staying just one minute. She arrived home at 5.55pm, went to the letterboxes and entered the lift.

Read More: Graham Dwyer arrested as he answered door of Foxrock home, court hears

On June 23, footage showed Ms O'Hara arriving at 6.54pm, Mr Dwyer arrived ten minutes later and stayed until 8.18pm.

On June 26 Ms O'Hara left the complex at 8.19am and returned home at 5.18pm, going to the post boxes before entering the lift. At 5.36pm Mr Dwyer was seen on the footage entering the building and taking the lift, before leaving at 6.29pm.

In footage from July 9, Ms O'Hara was seen leaving at 8.36am and returning at 3.33pm. She left at 4.46pm, then both she and Mr Dwyer entered the apartment block at 5.02pm and waited briefly in the lobby before getting the lift upstairs. Mr Dwyer left at 5.40pm.

The next clip, from July 11, showed Ms O'Hara leaving her home at 3.20pm, before returning at 3.27pm and checking the post boxes. Mr Dwyer arrived at 5.34pm and took the stairs, departing again at 6.28pm.

The next day, July 12, Ms O'Hara left at 10.07am, returned at 1.30pm, checked her post box and took the lift, before leaving again at 3.36pm. Mr Dwyer arrived at the complex at 5.27pm.

Det Sgt Duggan told prosecution counsel Sean Guerin SC that in that clip, Mr Dwyer appeared to have a phone in his hand before putting it away and taking a second phone out of his pocket, then getting in the lift.

On August 13, 2012, Ms O'Hara was seen entering at 8.43am, then letting in a tradesman at 10.15am. The tradesman left at 11.11am and she left carrying bags at 12.38pm, with Mr Dwyer arriving at 8.02pm and leaving ten minutes later with a red and black rucksack on his back.

The final clip of Mr Dwyer at Belarmine Plaza was taken on August 15, when he entered at 7pm carrying the backpack. Ms O'Hara returned home at 7.36pm and he left at 8.02pm carrying the bag.

The jury was shown a close-up of the backpack, as well as a photograph of a muddy black and red backpack which had been retrieved from Vartry reservoir in Co Wicklow.

The trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie

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