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Trial latest Murder accused made anonymous 999 calls saying he had killed Kilkenny pensioner, court told

Trevor Rowe (29) has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ann Butler at her home at Maudlin Street, Kilkenny

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Trevor Rowe at a special sitting of Kilkenny Court

Trevor Rowe at a special sitting of Kilkenny Court

Trevor Rowe at a special sitting of Kilkenny Court

A murder accused made three anonymous phone calls to gardaí stating he had killed a 71-year-old pensioner who lived alone in her home, a jury at the Central Criminal Court hast heard.

John O'Kelly SC, for the State, also told the trial that there are important forensic connections between the accused and deceased, whose body was not discovered until five days after her death.

Trevor Rowe (29), with an address at Abbey Street, Kilkenny has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ann Butler at her home at Maudlin Street, Kilkenny, on March 20, 2020.

Opening the prosecution's case yesterday, Mr O'Kelly said this was a "clear case" where the intent for murder was "obvious".

The court will hear evidence of Ms Butler's cause of death, the lawyer said, which was asphyxia, blunt force trauma to the head with an incised wound to the neck and multiple stab wounds to the body.

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Trevor Rowe has pleaded not guilty to killing pensioner Ann Butler

Trevor Rowe has pleaded not guilty to killing pensioner Ann Butler

Trevor Rowe has pleaded not guilty to killing pensioner Ann Butler

 

"The natural and probable consequences of inflicting that on anyone is serious injury or death," said Mr O'Kelly.

Outlining the facts of the case, Mr O'Kelly said Ms Butler's body was found at her home on Maudlin Street on March 25.

He said this resulted from a number of anonymous phone calls received by gardaí on March 25.

"There were three anonymous 999 calls stating he had killed a woman and she was in Maudlin Street behind Langtons Hotel. These calls were traced back by gardaí to Trevor Rowe," he said.

Mr O'Kelly said these calls were made from other people's phones but gardaí were able to "check back" to the owner of one of those phones and received information from them that Mr Rowe had made a call using their phone.

"The timing of those calls tie in with calls to the garda command and control centre and as a result of that gardaí went to Mr Rowe's home," he continued.

The prosecution barrister went on to tell the court that gardaí met Mr Rowe at his house and asked him whether he had made those calls to gardaí.

"He said he did and that the woman was in Maudlin Street.

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"Gardaí asked him if he would show them where she was," he said.

Detailing the evidence that will be heard, Mr O'Kelly said Mr Rowe directed gardaí across town in the patrol car and pointed to a red door when they got to Maudlin Street, which was Ms Butler's house.

Inside, gardaí found Ms Butler's body in a state of decomposition on the couch.

"She had the injuries I described and you will hear how the rest of the investigation unfolds," he said.

There will be forensic evidence on a number of items, counsel said, that connects Mr Rowe to the scene of Ms Butler's death.

One of these items was a can of Lindentree cider found in the deceased's house with Mr Rowe's DNA on it.

Another item was a pair of gloves with Ms Butler's blood on them, which was found in a bag belonging to the accused man.

A third item was part of a crucifix which had been in the deceased's house and was later found in the possession of Mr Rowe.

"These are important forensic connections between the accused man and the deceased," said Mr O'Kelly.

CCTV footage from the evening of March 20, the court heard, will show Ms Butler returning to her home at Maudlin Street around 9.30pm that night and this was the last time that she was seen alive.

About 15 minutes after Ms Butler returned home, Mr O'Kelly said the jury would see CCTV footage of Mr Rowe arriving at Maudlin Street and going in the direction of her house.

An hour later, counsel said the jury would see CCTV footage of Mr Rowe coming back down Maudlin Street away from Ms Butler's house.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Karen O'Connor and a jury of seven men and five women. It is expected to last 10 days.

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