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Savage crime Boozed-up killer Daniel Murtagh drove his car into a ditch after murdering Nadine Lott

After beating his former partner in a brutal attack, Murtagh attempted to get away but crashed his car

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Daniel Murtagh (right) crashed his car after killing Nadine Lott (Left)

Daniel Murtagh (right) crashed his car after killing Nadine Lott (Left)

Daniel Murtagh (right) crashed his car after killing Nadine Lott (Left)

This picture shows how killer Daniel Murtagh drove his car into a ditch as he tried to flee the scene after murdering Nadine Lott.

Murtagh (34), of Melrose Grove, Bawnogue, Clondalkin, Dublin, was found guilty yesterday of the murder of Ms Lott at her apartment in St Mary's Court, Arklow, Co Wicklow on December 17, 2019.

The injuries to Nadine were so serious that she never regained consciousness after the attack and died three days later in St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin.

The Sunday World can reveal Murtagh fled the apartment after the attack, taking his Volvo car from outside and driving it away.

Around 7am the same morning and some 31km away from Ms Lott's apartment in Laragh, Mr Murtagh crashed his car into a ditch and received some minor injuries.

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Nadine Lott

Nadine Lott

Nadine Lott

He was later treated at Tallaght Hospital for injuries he sustained in the crash

When Murtagh was later arrested and placed in a patrol car on the morning of the attack, the accused told the officer that it was "a domestic" but said he really loved Nadine.

"Answer me this, is she still alive? Tell me is she still alive?" he asked gardai

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Daniel Murtagh's crashed car

Daniel Murtagh's crashed car

Daniel Murtagh's crashed car

In his first interview with gardai, Murtagh had said he loved Nadine, that he was intoxicated at the time of the assault and he could not remember anything.

In a subsequent interview, he said he had given her a "soft slap", before telling gardai he had "obviously hit her a few slaps". It was the first time he had ever hit her, he said, and insisted that he only gave her a couple of slaps

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"I had no intention to ever hurt her," he said.

Murtagh later went on to tell detectives that he gave Nadine "six or seven hard digs" but did not "go to town" on her. However, the accused eventually said that he was "pounding" Nadine with his hands and "punching like mad". He told gardai that if he had wanted to kill her, he would have

Demonstrating to gardai how he delivered punches down on the beautician as she lay on the ground, the defendant said he had boxed "for years" and his knuckles were "well-conditioned"

However, it was not until his fourth and final interview that the accused described to gardai how he had held a charger for a tyre pump in his hand for solidity and had "wrapped" the wire around his knuckles as he beat the Wicklow woman. He also accepted he might have used the cigarette-type charger "in a hammer action" on the "helpless woman"

When asked in an interview why he hit Nadine, Murtagh had at one point replied: "No reason, absolutely no reason guard, I'm going to pray every night. I just snapped, I don't know. I never hit a girl in my life."

However, he also later told gardai that: "I know she was with a lad in Arklow and I was trying to get it out of her".

Defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC had asked for a verdict of manslaughter on the grounds of lack of intent due to alcohol intoxication. Murder is a crime of specific intent and voluntary intoxication can have the effect of reducing the offence of murder to manslaughter.

In his closing speech, prosecution counsel John O'Kelly SC argued that there was no defence of intoxication in the case and said Murtagh had the "clearest intent" when he inflicted the "most dreadful blunt trauma injuries" to the beauty therapist's face, which separated the flesh from the underlying structures.

In his charge to the jury, Mr Justice Michael MacGrath said they must decide in the context of intoxication as to whether the prosecution satisfied them beyond a reasonable doubt "that despite the accused's intoxication he had formed the intent to kill or cause serious injury to Nadine."

The 12 jurors took five hours and 46 minutes over two days to unanimously reject Murtagh's defence that he was too intoxicated to have formed the intent to murder his ex-girlfriend and that the "bloodbath" would never have happened "but for the drink and drugs" he consumed that night

Following the verdict, Mr Justice MacGrath thanked the jury for the care and careful consideration they had given the case. "You were all very attentive during the trial. You perform an important civic duty and it is very important that non-lawyers are involved in this process," he said

The judge exempted the seven men and five women from jury service for ten years.

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