independent

Saturday 17 August 2019

Dwyer trial jurors are told to put aside their feelings

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Graham Dwyer

The judge in the trial of Graham Dwyer for the murder of Elaine O'Hara has told the jurors to put their feelings about Mr Dwyer aside when considering their verdict.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt asked the jury to remember what Dwyer was on trial for, and what he was not. He said very few people were all bad.

Dwyer, 42, of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms O'Hara on 22 August 2012. Elaine was the daughter of Wexford native Francis O'Hara.

In his speech to the jury, Mr Hunt told them they would have to give a 'true verdict' by applying what he said about the law to their view of the facts.

The judge said there was one count on the issue paper they would have in front of them - whether or not Dwyer was guilty of the crime of murder.

He said they were not required to consider if he was guilty of other things. He said manifestly he was guilty of certain misconduct, but that was not a criminal offence.

Mr Hunt told the jury that if they were not safisfied that the phone alleged to have been used by him were not attributable to him 'they could go no further' with the case.

He said it seemed to him that if the phones, including the phone known as the 'Goroon' phone, were not referable to Mr Dwyer 'they are referable to somebody who bears an astonishing similarity to aspects of his life'.

But he said this was a matter for the jury. 'If you can't be satisfied that the phones [are attributable to him] I suggest you go no further with the case.'

'You need to rely on Mr Dwyer being the operator of those phones to bring him to the shore [at Shanganagh] at 6 o'clock on the 22nd of August. And if you don't bring him there, where are you going with the rest of it?'

Dwyer disputes that two phones found in the Vartry reservoir in 2013 were used by him. He also disputes that an 083 phone registered in the name 'Goroon Caisholm' was used by him.

Mr Justice Hunt said their feelings about Mr Dwyer were irrelevant to their deliberations and would only obscure the road they had to take. He said the jurors had the very odd situation in this case in that a jury is normally shielded from certain aspects of an accused person's character to allow them to come to an objective view of the case.

Pointing to Dwyer he said whatever they think of him, that man was innocent unless they decided otherwise.

The judge is to finish his charge to the jury on Tuesday.

Wexford People

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