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Court hearing Ashling Murphy murder accused remanded as book of evidence still 'in preparation'

Judge Blake said every effort should be made to expedite the book of evidence.

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Jozef Puska (31)

Jozef Puska (31)

Jozef Puska (31)

A book of evidence for a man accused of the murder of schoolteacher Ashling Murphy is still being prepared, a court has heard.

Jozef Puska (31) is facing trial by judge and jury in the Central Criminal Court after the DPP formally directed on the charge two weeks ago.

This morning, the accused made his sixth court appearance via videolink at Cloverhill District Court.

Mr Puska, with an address at Lynally Grove, Tullamore, Co Offaly, is charged with the murder of Ashling Murphy (23) at Cappincur, Tullamore.

The 23-year-old was fatally assaulted while she was out jogging along the grand canal in Tullamore on the afternoon of January 12, 2022.

Wearing a dark green polo shirt and light grey tracksuit bottoms as well as a face mask, Mr Puska spoke to confirm his name when asked to do so by the court register.

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Ashling Murphy

Ashling Murphy

Ashling Murphy

Mr Puska also confirmed that he could see and hear the court.

A Slovakian interpreter was in court to assist him.

Judge Victor Blake said "good morning to you" to the accused and the interpreter.

Sergeant Olwyn Murphy said the book of evidence was still in preparation and a number of reports were outstanding. She asked for a four week adjournment.

Defence lawyer Sharon Rossiter said there was only consent to a two-week adjournment.

Judge Blake asked Sgt Murphy if she could elaborate as to what reports were outstanding.

Sgt Murphy said she could not.

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Judge Blake said he would require better information on the next court date. He said every effort should be made to expedite the book of evidence.

Judge Blake remanded Mr Puska in custody to appear before Cloverhill court again on April 6. He said an interpreter would be required on the next date.

"Thank you", Judge Blake said to Mr Puska and the interpreter.

"Ok", said Mr Puska, and he nodded to the court.

Mr Puska was originally brought before a special late night sitting of Tullamore district court in January charged with the teacher's murder.

Ms Murphy, a talented traditional Irish musician and recent graduate from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, was working as a teacher at Durrow National School at the time of her death.

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