Wednesday 26 September 2018

Killer Graham Dwyer has until end of the day to appeal conviction for brutal murder of Elaine


Graham Dwyer

Time is running out for killer Graham Dwyer to lodge an appeal against his conviction for the murder of Elaine O'Hara.

The architect and father-of-three (42), has until the close of business today to lodge papers with the court authorities.

He was given 21 days to do so by the trial judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt after he was sentenced last month for killing vulnerable Ms O'Hara who disappeared in 2012 and whose remains were found at Kilakee in the Dublin mountains a year later.

Dwyer was also granted legal aid in the event of an appeal, which he is strongly expected to deliver today.

His solicitors will have to lodge the papers appealing the conviction to the office of the court of appeal or their client will lose his right to do so further down the line.

The issues Dwyer is likely to raise in any appeal 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.

Any appeal Dwyer makes 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 he was put on suicide watch while still in Cloverhill Prison because he had been so sure 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.

Graham Dwyer

Graham Dwyer

It was the third time he had placed under special observation. There were also reports that he had started talking to himself and found it hard to concentrate.

But Dwyer showed little emotion during the sentence hearing last month 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 Dwyer.

Since being moved to the Midlands Prison following his sentencing his behavior 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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