Man charged with body in suitcase murder appears in court

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Paul Wells
Paul Wells

A 48-year-old Dublin man charged with the murder of Kenneth O'Brien, whose dismembered body was found in a suitcase in a canal, has been further remanded in custody.

Paul Wells from Barnamore Park, Finglas, Dublin will face his next hearing on March 30th at Cloverhill District Court.

JCB driver Kenneth O'Brien (33) from Lealand Road in Clondalkin in Dublin was reported missing on January 15th after he had left his home telling family members he was going to work.

The father-of-one had recently come back from Australia where he had been employed for three years.

The following day his torso was found in suitcase by walkers at the Grand Canal near Cellbridge, Co. Kildare.  Investigating gardai carried out a search operation resulting in other body parts being found in bags in the canal. DNA tests confirmed the remains were those of Mr O'Brien.

Last month, Paul Wells was charged with the murder of Kenneth O'Brien on or about January 15th and 16th. The murder is alleged to have occurred at the defendant's address. 

He was remanded in custody and faced his second hearing today when he appeared before Judge Patricia McNamara at Cloverhill District Court.

A book of evidence has yet to be prepared; Paul Wells was further remanded in custody by Judge Victor Blake for another two weeks.

Due to the nature of the charge he would have to make a bail application in the High Court.

A second man arrested in connection with the investigation was released from Garda custody without charge last week and a file is to be sent to the DPP.