Judgement Day | 

Decision due on sex killer Graham Dwyer’s bid for murder retrial

Dwyer was convicted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court of the murder of 36-year-old Elaine O’Hara on August 22, 2012.

Graham Dwyer successfully challenged how his phone data was seized. Photo: Gary Ashe

Eamon DillonSunday World

Killer Graham Dwyer will know his fate today when the Court of Appeal delivers its judgement on his appeal against his conviction for the murder of childcare worker Elaine O’Hara.

His case is listed for Friday in the Courts of Criminal Justice where a decision on whether or not he should get a re-trial will be made known.

The 50-year-old disgraced Foxrock architect looked for a new trial because phone data evidence obtained by gardaí was allowed to be put before the jury.

His appeal was heard last December and came after a separate challenge to the law under which his metadata was retained and seized.

The High Court, Supreme Court and Court of Justice for the European Union had all found in his favour.

The data established a link between Dwyer and his victim and allowed detectives to build up a picture of their secret relationship.

Dwyer was convicted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court of the murder of 36-year-old Elaine O’Hara on August 22, 2012.

The trial heard how Dwyer had fantasised about stabbing a woman during sex and used Ms O’Hara, who had been discharged from a mental health hospital hours earlier, to fulfil his fantasy.

Her remains were found 13 months later in a forest at Killakee in the Dublin Mountains.

Much of the evidence at the trial focused on text messages between a “slave” phone used by Ms O’Hara and a “master” phone used by Dwyer and on the movements of those phones.

The evidence was included in Dwyer’s trial despite opposition from his lawyers.

The Court of Appeal last December heard Dwyer argued the evidence should have been put to an admissibility test, arising from a Supreme Court case called JC.

In that case the Supreme Court found that evidence obtained unconstitutionally can be used, but only if the prosecution can show the breach was inadvertent.

His lawyers argued that because such a test was not applied, he was entitled to a retrial.

Dwyer was led into court in December by prison officers and was wearing a dark grey suit, black tie and white shirt.

He occasionally put on glasses as he entered notes into a folder he had brought with him.

Dwyer’s lawyers also argued he should have been declared not guilty at his trial because there was a possibility Ms O’Hara had taken her own life which could not be excluded.

It was also argued that it was prejudicial for the trial judge to allow the jury to view videos of Dwyer engaging in sexual acts with Elaine O’Hara and other women.

In the videos, Dwyer could be seen stabbing or pretending to stab the women.

The Director of Public Prosecutions argued that the evidence against Dwyer was overwhelming even without the mobile phone data.

This included texts from Ms O’Hara’s phones for information to identify a suspect while Dwyer’s DNA matched with semen found on her mattress.

They also said that the trial judge was right to allow the jury to see the videos.

The State also argued against the suicide theory, asking if Ms O’Hara had committed suicide, how did her keys and phone end up in a reservoir.

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