court hearing | 

Woman (40) charged with impeding prosecution of Lisa Thompson’s suspected killer

Ms Thompson (52), a former youth worker was found dead at her home at Sandyhill Gardens, Ballymun on May 10.

Deirdre Arnold (40) appeared in Dublin District Court charged in connection with the alleged killing of mother-of-two Lisa Thompson in Ballymun earlier this year

Lisa Thompson

Andrew PhelanSunday World

A MOTHER-of-three has been accused of impeding the prosecution of the suspected murderer of a woman who was found stabbed to death in her Dublin home.

Deirdre Arnold (40) appeared in Dublin District Court charged in connection with the alleged killing of mother-of-two Lisa Thompson in Ballymun earlier this year.

She is facing trial on the charge and Judge Gerard Jones granted her bail and adjourned the case for the preparation of a book of evidence.

Ms Arnold, with an address at Briarfield Grove, Kilbarrack, is charged with knowingly acting to impede the apprehension or prosecution of a person who allegedly committed the murder of Lisa Thompson.

The offence, under Section 7 of the Criminal Law Act, is alleged to have taken place in the Dublin area on dates between May 9 and July 11 this year.

Ms Thompson (52), a former youth worker was found dead at her home at Sandyhill Gardens, Ballymun on May 10.

Garda Jennifer Keegan told the court she arrested Ms Arnold at her home at 8.17am this morning and brought her to Ballymun garda station, where she made no reply to the charge after caution at 9.57am.

The garda had no objection to bail subject to conditions, which she outlined. Judge Jones asked her what the case was about.

She replied that in relation to the investigation into the murder of Lisa Thompson, it was alleged that Ms Arnold was involved in impeding the prosecution of the "principal offender."

Judge Jones granted bail in the accused's own bond of €100 and an independent surety of €500. Under conditions, Ms Arnold must continue to live at her home address, sign on twice weekly at Raheny garda station, observe a curfew between 10pm and 6am, surrender her passport to gardai and not apply for a new one.

She must also provide a phone number to gardai and have no contact directly or indirectly, including by electronic means, with any witnesses in the case, including a co-accused.

Lisa Thompson

Defence solicitor Edward Bradbury asked the court not to require an independent surety, saying his client was arrested during the summer and since then she had resided at the given address.

It was her home address where she lived with her children and gardai had been in regular contact with her. She "hasn't gone away" and had never been in court before, Mr Bradbury said. The surety placed her at a disadvantage and there was "no point or reason" for it. The defence consented to the other conditions.

"She has dealt with this matter during the summer and did not attempt in any way to evade justice," he said.

Gda Keegan said she was seeking the surety given the seriousness of the offence which had a potential sentence on conviction of 10 years.

However, she said the prosecution was happy to accept a cash lodgement in lieu of the surety.

The DPP directed trial on indictment at the Central Criminal Court, Gda Keegan said. Judge Jones remanded the accused in custody with consent to bail to appear in court again on November 17. The judge granted free legal aid.

Ms Arnold, dressed in a grey tracksuit top, dark bottoms and white runners, did not address the court during the brief hearing and has not yet entered a plea to the charge.

She is the second person to be charged in connection with Ms Thompson's death.

Brian McHugh (37) Cairn Court, Ballymun appeared in court in July charged with murdering Ms Thompson.

Ms Thompson was last seen two days before her body was found on the afternoon of May 10. A concerned neighbour had raised the alarm by calling 999, seeking an ambulance, just after 3pm that day. When paramedics arrived at the house they called gardai. It is believed Ms Thompson’s body was in her home for some time before it was discovered. She was discovered with multiple injuries, including stab wounds.


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