NewsCrime Desk

Thug won’t apologise for covering up twisted murder

Patrick O'Connor
Patrick O'Connor

BRUTE PATRICK O’Connor refuses to apologise for covering up the murder of mum-of-two Rebecca French as he walks free from prison.

We can reveal how the 45-year-old has been freed despite being jailed for 10 years in 2010 over his role in covering up the horror slaying.

Despite eye-witness accounts placing O’Connor and three Eastern Europeans at the scene of the horror killing, no-one was ever convicted of Rebecca’s murder.

When confronted by the Sunday World outside Wheatfield Prison, O’Connor refused to talk.

We tackled the 45-year-old as he made his way to a waiting taxi.

“Are you sorry Patrick?” we asked.

No response.

“Is there anything you would like to say to the French family?”

Again no response.

“Is there anything you’d like to say at all?”

Glaring at our reporter, O’Connor refused to comment for a third time before jumping into the waiting taxi.

Thug O’Connor, who was out on bail for possession of a shotgun and facing charges for a violent burglary at the time of the killing, was one of four men in the house in Ard na Dara, Wexford, when Rebecca was beaten to death with a golf club in October 2009.

Hours later Rebecca’s body was found in the boot of her burning car at nearby Codd’s Lane.

TRAGIC: Rebecca French 

State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy told the trial of two men, Lithuanian nationals Ruslanas Minekas (26) and Ricardus Dilys (28), who were charged with her murder, that the cause of death had been blunt force trauma to the head.

She said the blows had been sufficiently hard to break apart the plates of the skull.

A Garda patrol car on its way to the burning car stopped and officers spoke to four men walking along the road.

The men in the group were O’Connor, Polish national Piotr Pasiak and the two men who would later be charged.

Another patrol car called to Mr O’Connor’s house in the Ard na Dara estate in connection with an unrelated matter.

Entering the house, gardaí saw Minekas and Dilys, sitting with O’Connor and Pasiak and local woman Helen Connors.

Gardai found a box of latex gloves and cable ties, while blood-stained clothes and blood-stained golf clubs were also seized. The DNA profile from the blood on the golf clubs matched the victim’s.

Despite the wealth of forensic evidence, the murder charges against Mineikas and Dilys were dropped after the pair agreed to plead guilty to impeding the investigation into her death.

The murder charges were dropped when a legal technicality meant their admissions in garda custody could not be used against them.

O’Connor and Pasiak had already pleaded guilty to impeding the investigation before the trial got under way.