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Dead gran walking Woman who disguised as her murdered gran Patricia O'Connor released from jail

Stephanie was sentenced in June last year to two years in prison, with six months suspended, for her role in the sickening plot to cover up the murder.

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Stephanie O’Connor.

Stephanie O’Connor.

Stephanie O’Connor.

A key figure in the plot to cover up the gruesome murder of dismembered gran Patricia O'Connor has been released from prison after serving just eight months of her 18-month sentence.

The Sunday World can reveal Patricia's grand-daughter Stephanie O'Connor was released from the Dochas Centre in mid-February as part of an "outlook" programme for "resocialisation."

O'Connor (23) disguised herself as her dead grandmother, after Patricia had been bludgeoned to death by her mother Louise's boyfriend Kieran Greene, in a bid to create a false CCTV record which would show the 61-year-old leaving her home after the killing.

Stephanie was sentenced in June last year to two years in prison, with six months suspended, for her role in the sickening plot to cover up the murder.

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Stephanie O’Connor with mother Louise O’Connor and her ex-partner Keith Johnson

Stephanie O’Connor with mother Louise O’Connor and her ex-partner Keith Johnson

Stephanie O’Connor with mother Louise O’Connor and her ex-partner Keith Johnson

The 23-year-old had been found guilty on a single charge of impeding the apprehension or prosecution of killer Kieran Greene, knowing or believing him to have murdered Patricia on May 29, 2017.

A jury accepted the State's case that, in order to cover up the murder, Stephanie O'Connor had dressed up as her grandmother as "a ruse" to pretend that Patricia had stormed out of the house on the night.

Stephanie had pleaded not guilty to disguising herself as Patricia at Mountain View Park, Churchtown, Dublin, at a point in time after her murder on May 29, 2017, in order to conceal the fact that she was already dead.

A seven-week trial, at the conclusion of which Stephanie, her mother Louise and Louise's former partner Keith Johnston were also convicted of roles in a plot to conceal Patricia's murder, heard how Patricia's body was dismembered into 15 separate parts.

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Patricia O'Connor

Patricia O'Connor

Patricia O'Connor

Patricia's husband Gus, who reported his wife as a 'missing person' to gardai at a time when he already knew she had been murdered, had pleaded guilty at the outset of the trial and is also serving a sentence for his role in the cover-up.

Pictures taken of the house by the Sunday World this week show how Patricia's beloved home now appears overgrown with weeds and is in increasingly poor condition.

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One neighbour said neither Gus O'Connor nor any member of the O'Connor family involved in covering up her murder would ever be welcome back in the estate.

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Patricia O’Connor was murdered at her home in Churchtown

Patricia O’Connor was murdered at her home in Churchtown

Patricia O’Connor was murdered at her home in Churchtown

"It's shocking to hear poor Patricia's husband has the house now," said one neighbour.

"But he'll not be welcome back here.

"I hope none of them who had any involvement in covering up her murder ever step foot in this estate again."

Patricia's body parts were found dumped at nine different locations over a 30km range in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains between June 10 and 14, 2017.

Former deputy State pathologist Michael Curtis gave evidence that her head was struck a minimum of three blows with a solid implement and the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

In her closing speech, prosecution counsel Róisín Lacey, SC, said Stephanie had entered into "a charade" by disguising herself as her grandmother to create "an indelible record" on CCTV footage that the former hospital cleaner was actually "alive and well" and had walked out of the house at 9.34pm that night.

This was done in case it was needed to bolster any statements to anyone who was legitimately looking for Patricia O'Connor or if she was reported as a missing person down the line, she said.

Stephanie had firmly placed herself inside the house at 9.34pm that night but CCTV footage covering the rear of the property showed this to be a lie.

In the footage, she can be seen in the back garden.

Evidence was given that a woman could be seen leaving the front of the house in CCTV footage at 9.34pm on May 29 and walking quickly down the driveway with a suitcase in her hand.

At 10.05pm that night, a woman with a suitcase appeared at the left-hand side of the house and went in the back door.

She closed the back door a minute later.

Ms Lacey said this woman had walked in a "sprightly" manner which was very different to the deportment of Patricia O'Connor and was wearing a hooded jacket for the purpose of disguising her hair and facial features.

At 10.05pm, the woman with a coat over her arm and carrying a suitcase could be seen "scuttling along" the side passage and entering the rear door of the house, said Ms Lacey.

Patricia's grief-stricken son, Richard O'Connor, confirmed at the trial that this figure going in the rear of the house was his niece Stephanie.

A black suitcase with a distinctive label was later found in the bedroom of Gus O'Connor on June 21.

The prosecution maintained that this was the same "prop" that Stephanie had been carrying on May 29.

It was the State's case that Stephanie's laptop was an "integral part" of the charade as it was dormant between 9pm and 10.10pm on the night, which "correlated exactly" with the period of time when they said Stephanie was out of the house disguised as her grandmother.

Details of Stephanie's release from prison can be revealed for the first time today after this newspaper detailed how loving grandmother Patricia left her entire estate to liar husband Gus.

Probate documents showed how tragic Patricia left an estate valued at €32,492 to her jailed spouse.

As next-of-kin, 'betrayer' Gus (77) is also entitled to full possession of the €375,000 Mountain View Park home in Churchtown, Dublin where Patricia was murdered and of which the couple were jointly registered as full owners in December 1982.

The probate documents also revealed how, in the event Gus predeceased her, Patricia wanted a half-share in the Churchtown house to go to 'callous' daughter Louise - as well as half the financial element of her estate.

Louise also participated in the bizarre plot to cover up Patricia's murder, and is currently serving two and a half years in prison for impeding the prosecution of Kieran Greene.

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Kieran Greene was jailed for life

Kieran Greene was jailed for life

Kieran Greene was jailed for life

In her last will and testament, signed by Patricia on November 15, 2002, she wrote: "If my husband Augustine shall survive me for the space of one calendar month, then but not otherwise, I devise and bequeath all my real and personal estate … to my said husband absolutely and I appoint him sole executor of my will.

"If my said husband shall not survive me for the period aforesaid then and in that case the subsequent clauses of this, my will, shall take affect.

"I give, devise and bequeath all my real and personal estate … onto my said children Louise and Richard living at the date of my death."

After the conviction of Kieran Greene for murder, and the convictions of Gus, Louise, Stephanie and Keith Johnston for their roles in the cover-up, Patricia's devastated son Richard said: "No length of time is long enough for the crimes they have committed. May they live with this on their conscience for the rest of their lives!"

Patricia's husband Gus is currently serving an 18-month sentence for reporting Patricia as a missing person, knowing when he did so that she had already been murdered by Kieran Greene.

Gardai believe the murder was prompted by overcrowding in the Mountain View Park property that Patricia shared with husband Gus, daughter Louise, her partner Kieran Greene and Louise's five children.

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