Prosecutor claims Dwyer had nothing on his mind ‘other than murder’

CourtsBy Natasha Reid
Graham Dwyer
Graham Dwyer

The prosecutor in the Graham Dwyer murder trial has described the architect as ‘a sadistic and brutal pervert with nothing on his mind other than murder’.

Seán Guerin SC was concluding his closing speech this morning on the 41st day of the Central Criminal Court trial.

Mr Dwyer (42) is charged with murdering Dubliner Elaine O’Hara at Killakee, Rathfarnham, Dublin on 22nd August 2012, hours after she was discharged from a mental health hospital.

The Cork-born father of three of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock in Dublin has pleaded not guilty to murdering the 36-year-old childcare worker.

Mr Guerin began his closing arguments yesterday, and this morning moved onto the plan that he said Graham Dwyer had formulated for murdering Ms O’Hara.

He pointed to text messages allegedly sent by the accused to Ms O’Hara in which the sender had discussed finding both willing and unwilling stabbing victims and in which he described how he would kill them.

He asked the jury to look at the way in which Ms O’Hara was brought to where she was found. He said that what had happened was the implementation of a plan that had been elaborated in the text messages.

He said the first feature of a successful plan was that the location would be isolated

“You can certainly tick that box in relation to what happened to Elaine O’Hara,” he said.

He said the location of the alleged murder was a particularly well chosen one; it was on private land, not parkland where there would be hikers and there was a double lock on the gate.

He mentioned texts sent by that phone user talking about leaving the victim’s clothes in her car near the sea.

“While it’s not an exact account of what happened, it’s very close to it,” he said, referring to Ms O’Hara’s car being found near the sea but her clothes being found elsewhere.

He noted that other key elements of this phone user’s plan were the untraceable phones and a ‘vulnerable’ victim.

He said it was also important to make the circumstances look like suicide and noted that Ms O’Hara had been directed to the sea at Shanganagh. He said it was a fortunate coincidence for Mr Dwyer that her mother was buried there.

“The fact and thought of suicide could be linked so close together,” he said.

The phone user had mentioned a hunting knife as being part of his tool kit for such a killing and Mr Guerin noted that Mr Dwyer had a hunting knife delivered to his office the day before the alleged murder.

He said that the prosecution couldn’t say whether he had used that particular knife on Ms O’Hara or ‘whether the plan was simply to show it to her for the purpose of enjoying the look of fear in her eyes’.

He said there was no evidence to contradict the content of the texts, the movement of the phones or the nature of the relationship, except the lies that the accused told gardai.

“What I ask you to do is not to believe me when I tell you the evidence points towards murder,” he said. “Take at face value the unguarded and open explanation of an intention to kill given by the accused … in the texts.”

He said the videos he recorded were the videos of his actions, captured and archived by him. He said the documents were the product of his imagination and his desire. He said the texts repeated those desires and set out the plan.

“All I’m asking you do, ladies and gentlemen, is to believe that, when he shows himself in those documents and text messages, to be a sadistic and brutal pervert with nothing on his mind other than murder, that he was telling the truth,” suggested Mr Guerin.

“There’s evidence to satisfy you that he’s guilty of murder,” he concluded.

Remy Farrell SC, defending, has now commenced setting out his case.

He told the jurors that they were about to become the hardest-working jury in recent memory because they had a mountain to climb to simply apply the presumption of innocence. He noted that they had seen videos of his client having sex and asked how they could possibly take him seriously now. 

The trial has heard that Ms O’Hara was last seen in Shanganagh on the evening of August 22nd 2012.

A cause of death could not be determined when her skeletal remains were discovered at Killakee on September 13th the following year.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of five women and seven men.