Thursday 14 December 2017

Man found guilty of murder of homeless man whose body was found in rubbish chute

David O'Loughlin
David O'Loughlin

A YOUNG man was convicted of the murder of a homeless man who he first invited back to his flat for a drink before punching him and shoving him down a narrow metal rubbish chute.

David O'Loughlin (27) then re-entered his Cork flat and boasted to an acquaintance: "The man is down the drain."

O'Loughlin also spoke about shoving a man into the chute to two women but they thought he was only "talking crap."

Liam Manley (58) was trapped head first in the apartment rubbish chute and died from the position he was stuck in and the lack of oxygen in the narrow metal pipe.

O'Loughlin had denied the murder of Mr Manley in Cork two years ago but admitted during the trial that he did put the homeless man in the chute.

He was convicted of the murder by a Central Criminal Court jury of seven women and five men after four and a half hours of deliberation following a three week trial.

The unanimous verdict was returned just minutes after the jury had asked to see the rubbish chute involved.

They were escorted to the apartment complex by Gardai and court staff. O'Loughlin also went to the complex.

“I thought he would slide down into the rubbish and go on about his business,” O'Loughlin told the trial.

“I did not want him to die in that chute. I was horrified when I learned he had died in this chute. I could not believe my actions had led to the death of this man,” he added.

Mr Manley's body was found partially covered in rubbish and a blood-like substance at the bottom of the chute.

The body, in an advanced state of decomposition, was found by Gardai after they were alerted by a shocked maintenance man who had been working to clear the blocked rubbish chute after complaints from residents.

O'Loughlin, who is originally from Clare, has an address at Apartment 10, Garden City Apartments-North Gate House, Cork.

He denied the murder of Mr Manley on May 12 2013.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster told the murder trial that Mr Manley died in the chute.

"The cause of death was mechanical asphyxia in association with positional asphyxia and hypoxia or the lack of oxygen from being trapped in a waste chute," she said.

Mr Manley was stuck head first in the 450mm to 470mm wide metal chute with a rubbish bag ahead of him.

She confirmed that the body was in an advanced state of decomposition when found.

"This was quite advanced for that period of time. But that is because of where it was," she said.

Dr Bolster said the heat and bacteria levels within the metal chute would have substantially increased the rate of decomposition.

In Garda interviews, O'Loughlin said he was "hammered" that weekend from taking drink and drugs.

O'Loughlin repeatedly insisted to gardai he had no precise recollection of what happened on May 12 in his apartment.

"I want to answer these questions but I was fairly hammered. I am trying to put the pictures and puzzles together," he said.

"But I can't recall. I remember arguing but I cannot recall (details). I will be painting a black picture. I would be joining the dots without looking."

"I feel like my brain is being shoe-laced. From my taking drink and prescription tablets...I don't want to say something I do not remember."

O'Loughlin said he prays for Mr Manley every day.

He now faces a mandatory life sentence.

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