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Saturday 21 July 2018

Witnesses recall death of man who killed girlfriend and had sex with her body

Larry Callaghan died in 2016
Larry Callaghan died in 2016

A man convicted and jailed for killing his girlfriend and then having sex with her dead body died after he was hit by a truck on his birthday, an inquest has heard.

Laurence Callaghan, of Back Lane Hostel, Dublin 8, died on October 26, 2016, which was his 51st birthday.

In February 2000, he was jailed for four years for the manslaughter of his girlfriend, Janet Mooney (29), over a lump of cannabis he thought she had hidden from him.

He admitted to having sex with her corpse, claiming he did not realise she was dead.

On the morning of his death 16 years later, Callaghan visited Crumlin Garda Station and told gardai his mother and sister had been abducted from the family home.

Gda Liam Kearns told Dublin Coroner's Court that Callaghan told him he had had a pistol pointed at his head during the incident.

Gda Kearns called to the house and obtained a phone number for Callaghan's sister from a neighbour.

Pauline Callaghan confirmed that she and her mother were safe and well in Cork.

Abduction

She told the officer that her brother was a recovering alcoholic who was suffering from Korsakoff syndrome, a chronic memory disorder associated with alcohol use.

The garda rang the station to inform the sergeant there had been no abduction and was told that Callaghan had already left.

At 11.45am that morning, witness Paul O'Donnell saw Callaghan struck by a truck at the Coombe.

The incident happened just beyond the junction of Meath Street and the Coombe as the truck was travelling towards the city.

"Initially when I saw him he was walking. Then it looked like he picked up speed to get across the road in front of the truck," Mr O'Donnell said.

Emergency services were called to the incident, but Callaghan died at the scene.

A post-mortem report found death was caused by head, abdominal, pelvic and thoracic injuries as a consequence of a road traffic collision.

A toxicology report found he had no alcohol in his system.

The only substance found was sertraline, a prescription antidepressant drug.

A forensic collision report found Callaghan was struck by the front wheel of the truck and the collision was unavoidable from the point of view of the driver.

A file was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions, but no charges were brought.

The jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

Through their solicitor, the family thanked Carmel Power, who administered chest compressions at the scene.

"He was loved and will be missed," said solicitor for the family Barry Ward.

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