Pros­e­cu­tion: Pure de­ceit from ac­cused

Irish Examiner - - News - Liam Heylin

A man who de­nies mur­der­ing his girl­friend was cat­e­gorised by the pros­e­cu­tion as a con­trol­ling in­di­vid­ual who com­mit­ted mur­der in a jeal­ous rage but the de­fence claimed he felt pro­voked and lost con­trol.

Dar­ren Mur­phy, aged 41, of Dan Des­mond Vil­las, Pas­sage West, Co Cork, is on trial at the Cen­tral Crim­i­nal Court sit­ting in Cork, on a charge of mur­der­ing Olivia Dun­lea, aged 36, at her home at Pem­broke Cres­cent, Pem­broke Woods, Pas­sage West, on Fe­bru­ary 17, 2013. He ad­mits man­slaugh­ter. Tom Creed, pros­e­cut­ing, said Mr Mur­phy gave an Os­car-like per­for­mance out­side Ms Dun­lea’s house af­ter he had killed her and set fire to her home. Mr Creed said the ac­cused knew he would be phoned to come to the scene of the fire but he made it look like he ar­rived in dis­ar­ray from bed with his top on back­wards and in­side out, so that peo­ple would look at him and say: “Poor Dar­ren in a panic.”

“He did that with one pur­pose — to de­ceive the peo­ple he would meet at the scene,” said Mr Creed. “He is there with his croc­o­dile tears and he makes a run for the door and has to be stopped. That is just pure de­ceit. In the back of the car with the guard he puts on this Os­car­like per­for­mance, say­ing: ‘They said there was no­body in there.’ That was more de­ceit — de­ceit and lies.”

Mr Creed re­jected the de­fence of provo­ca­tion — the sug­ges­tion that there was a tem­po­rary and sud­den com­plete loss of con­trol.

“He is say­ing he lost con­trol be­cause Olivia was say­ing Fas was com­ing over,” said Mr Creed. “But he is all about con­trol, his ac­tions were all about con­trol.

“He was a jeal­ous-minded per­son. We have that ev­i­dence from his for­mer girl­friend of him check­ing her phone. He was do­ing that with Olivia as well.

“He is in com­plete con­trol. He is in con­trol from the word go. He was in con­trol when he killed Olivia. He set fire to the house. Ev­ery­thing about what he did af­ter­wards was con­trolled.”

On the claim that he set fire to the house so that the de­ceased’s three chil­dren would not see the body with stab wounds, Mr Creed said that was rub­bish. He said the ac­cused could have called the emer­gency ser­vices for that pur­pose.

Tim O’Leary, de­fend­ing, said: “This is not a case of some­one try­ing es­cape his out­ra­geous ac­tions.”

Mr O’Leary said the State’s case was based on ad­mis­sions made by the ac­cused.

“Not alone did he put all the pieces of the jig­saw to­gether, but he gave the State the pieces of the jig­saw,” said Mr O’Leary.

Re­fer­ring to Frick and Fas, nick­names for two men Mr Mur­phy be­lieved Ms Dun­lea had re­la­tion­ships in the past, Mr O’Leary said: “All this busi­ness about Frick and Fas — Olivia is not on trial here. Peo­ple’s lives are their lives.”

Mr O’Leary said they had to see mat­ters from the de­fen­dant’s per­spec­tive from the point of view to de­cide on the is­sue of whether he was pro­voked. He said it was not for them to de­cide what they would do in the cir­cum­stances but what the ac­cused would do.

The de­fence lawyer said Mr Mur­phy was not get­ting away with any­thing be­cause he had ad­mit­ted man slaugh­ter and had in ef­fect ad­mit­ted set­ting fire to the vic­tim’s house.

He said the State case was a big jum­ble of spec­u­la­tion where the de­fen­dant was hav­ing a whole lot of con­trol at­trib­uted to him. In­stead, the de­fen­dant emerged from five in­ter­views with gar­daí as “a blither­ing id­iot”, cry­ing, ad­mit­ting killing his girl­friend, and apol­o­gis­ing to her fam­ily, and all of that shortly af­ter 10pm on the night af­ter the killing.

Mr Jus­tice Pat McCarthy will con­tinue his charg­ing of the 11 ju­rors to­day and they will then com­mence their de­lib­er­a­tions.

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