Judge in Graham Dwyer trial tells jury they have to put their feelings to one side
The judge in the trial of Graham Dwyer for the murder of Elaine O'Hara has told the jury that they had to put their feelings to one side as they start deliberations.
Mr Dwyer, 42, of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms O'Hara on 22 August 2012.
Ms O’Hara was last seen near Shanganagh cemetery at about 5.45pm on that date. Her remains were found in forestry on Killakee Mountain, Rathfarnham, on September 13th, 2013.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt told the jury they would have to give a "true verdict" by applying what he said about the law to their view of the facts.
He said that Mr Dwyer’s activities, which they had seen on videos during evidence in the trial were “irrelevant in the context of any opinions that you form about them”.
He said they had to put their feelings to one side.
“The only question is whether what you have seen and heard in an objective sense is capable of making any contribution to the prosecution case,” Mr Justice Hunt said.
Feelings about Mr Dwyer’s sexual activities or misconduct “have no part to play in the return of your verdict,” he added.
He told them to get any such feelings out of the way at the start of their deliberations.
He said the jurors had the very odd situation in this case in that a jury is normally shielded from certain aspects of an accused person's character to allow them to come to an objective view of the case.
But he said it was necessary because of the type of issues in this case that they saw a side of Mr Dwyer in a very harsh and unforgiving light.
He said they were shown certain material, not to make him look bad but, because the material could be potentially relevant to the case the prosecution was making.
He said the prosecution wanted them to consider these matters in the context of the picture they wanted the jury to accept of what happened on 22 August 2012.
He said he wanted to get the video clips they had seen out of the way. He said he had no doubt these clips had a visceral impact. He said they were "horrific" and "horrendous".
But he said they were not on day release from an enclosed institution. He said they were adult, fully functioning members of society.
He said they should not be shocked by people having sex. But he said the accompaniment to that shown in the videos was not usual.
But he said the people in the videos were engaging in these acts on the basis of agreement.
“The prosecution have to bring you all the way along the road,” he said.