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Woman is convicted of disguising herself as murdered grandmother

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Stephanie O’Connor dressed up as her grandmother Patricia to cover up the fact she had been killed

Stephanie O’Connor dressed up as her grandmother Patricia to cover up the fact she had been killed

CollinsPhotoAgency

Stephanie O’Connor dressed up as her grandmother Patricia to cover up the fact she had been killed

Murder victim Patricia O'Connor's granddaughter Stephanie has been found guilty of impeding her killer's prosecution by dressing up as the dead woman.

Stephanie O'Connor (22) disguised herself in a "ruse" to cover up the fact her grandmother had been murdered by Kieran Greene.

She stared at the jury and did not react as the unanimous guilty verdict was delivered at the Central Criminal Court.

Deliberations were suspended in the cases of her mother Louise O'Connor (41) and her father Keith Johnston (43), who are also accused of impeding Greene's prosecution.

They have pleaded not guilty.

The jury is due to continue deliberating on those verdicts today.

Stephanie O'Connor had denied acting to impede the prosecution of her mother's then-partner Greene (35) for the murder of Patricia (61).

He beat her to death with a hurley before dismembering the body with a saw and scattering the remains in the Wicklow mountains.

Greene was found guilty at the Central Criminal Court on Tuesday after a seven-week trial and his sentencing was adjourned.

Louise O'Connor is accused of agreeing or acquiescing to her daughter disguising herself as Patricia.

Mr Johnston, Louise's ex-boyfriend, is accused of helping Greene buy tools to be deployed in the concealment of Patricia's remains, knowing or believing that he had murdered her.

They all pleaded not guilty.

The three co-accused sat side-by-side in the dock as the jury filed in with the single verdict after 4pm yesterday.

Stephanie O'Connor sat between her parents.

The court registrar asked the forewoman of the jury if they had reached verdicts in any of the cases. "Yes," she replied.

He then read out the verdict recorded on the issue paper, that Stephanie O'Connor was guilty.

The forewoman confirmed that this was the verdict of all the jurors.

A woman was heard to gasp in the public gallery, where family members sat.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott sent the jurors home for the night.

Destroy

Mr Johnston had earlier been acquitted by direction of the judge of a second count of impeding the prosecution by allegedly refurbishing the O'Connors' bathroom to conceal or destroy evidence.

Before the trial began, Patricia's husband Gus O'Connor pleaded guilty to impeding the prosecution by falsely reporting his wife missing when he knew she was dead.

During the trial, the court heard Stephanie (22) disguised herself as her grandmother to be caught on CCTV supposedly "storming out" of the house with a suitcase after a row.

She told gardai she heard her grandmother leave, saying "she would be back when that b*****d [Gus] pops his clogs".

A neighbour's CCTV showed a woman in a hooded coat and black trousers leaving the house at 9.34pm, carrying a suitcase with distinctive flaps.

The prosecution said Patricia was last seen entering the house earlier wearing a colourful dress and the woman leaving moved in a more sprightly manner.

Stephanie was then seen coming in the back door at 10.05pm, carrying a suitcase and a coat over her arm. She identified herself in that video clip and said she had been getting a bag from the shed.

However, the prosecution said she had not been seen leaving the house "as Stephanie".

She told gardai the first she knew her grandmother was dead was when Greene broke down and told family two weeks later.