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Wednesday 11 December 2019

Killer dad threatened to murder accused son from prison, trial told

Paul Wells Junior has denied the charges he is facing. Photo: Collins Courts
Paul Wells Junior has denied the charges he is facing. Photo: Collins Courts

Paul Wells Snr, who was jailed last year for murdering and then dismembering the body of Kenneth O'Brien and dumping it in the Grand Canal, has made threats on the life of his son, Paul Wells Jnr, from prison, a trial has heard.

Paul Wells Jnr (33), is charged with impeding the apprehension or prosecution of his father by disposing of a chainsaw in Co Kildare nearly four years ago.

The prosecution alleges he did so knowing that his father had taken a life.

Wells Snr (51) was found guilty of murdering Mr O'Brien at his home in Finglas on January 15 or 16, 2016.

The killer admitted that, after shooting the 33-year-old father in his back garden, he dismembered his body and dumped it in the Grand Canal.

Mr Wells Jnr, of Beatty Park, Celbridge, Co Kildare, has pleaded not guilty to disposing of a chainsaw motor at a time unknown between January 19 and 20, 2016 in Co Kildare and not guilty to disposing of a chainsaw blade and chain on January 20, 2016 in the same location.

The Central Criminal Court jury was yesterday hearing further garda interviews in the trial of Mr Wells Jnr.

Det Sgt Padraig Cleary told prosecution counsel Michael Bowman that Mr Wells Jnr made a voluntary statement to gardai at Leixlip Garda Station on February 5, 2016.

He was arrested the next day on suspicion of murdering Mr O'Brien with a firearm.

Gardai asked Mr Wells Jnr about meeting his father at Tesco in Celbridge on January 16 before they went for a drive in the direction of Straffan.

The accused said his father was very agitated and there was a smell of bleach from his clothes.

Splashes

His father told him he was "bursting for a piss". Wells Snr then drove on to the canal bank, where he opened the boot and began "shuffling around", said the accused, adding that he heard two splashes.

Mr Wells Jnr said his father returned to the boot before he threw another two bags into the middle of the canal.

He said his window was down but he never got out of the car or released his seat belt.

When he asked his father what was in the bags, Wells Snr said it was rubbish and bricks from the back garden and "other shit".

The accused told gardai he believed that his father was capable of ordering his killing.

Gardai told Mr Wells Jnr they had retrieved bags from the canal, which contained the body parts of Mr O'Brien.

Following this, gardai asked the accused if he believed Mr O'Brien's body parts were thrown into the canal that night by Wells Snr.

"I do, yeah," he replied.

Mr Wells Jnr was asked by gardai if he had knowingly helped his father in any way.

"The only thing I threw into the canal was the chainsaw at Maynooth," he said.

Det Sgt Cleary agreed with defence counsel Damien Colgan that the accused had expressed fears that he would be shot by his father.

Mr Colgan asked the witness if he was aware that threats had been made on Mr Wells Jnr's life by Wells Snr from prison.

"Yes, we are aware," he replied.

The trial resumes tomorrow.

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