Gardaí challenged a man accused of murder for allegedly calling the victim a kiddy-fiddler and said such allegations were fully investigated and found to be false.
On day 7 of the murder trial at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork today memos of garda interviews with the accused were read to Ms Justice Tara Burns and a jury of seven women and five men.
David O’Loughlin, 31, with an address at Garden City Apartments, North Main Street, Cork, denies murdering Liam Manley, 59, at Garden City Apartments on May 12 2013. Mr Manley’s remains were found in the rubbish chute for the apartments.
The last question put by Mr O’Loughlin’s senior counsel, Michael O’Higgins, at the end of the memos today was, “He never sought to suggest he did not put him in the chute?” Sergeant Michelle O’Leary said, “That is correct.”
During one of the interviews, Detective Sergeant Shane Bergin put it to David O’Loughlin: “You told people he (the deceased) was a kiddy-fiddler. Not only did you take his life, you took his name. He was not trash.” Mr O’Loughlin replied in the memo: “I did not say he was trash.”
“You say he was a paedophile and kiddy-fiddler. You have taken his life, don’t take his name. I want to know why you called him a kiddy-fiddler and paedophile. He was not that. Why did you say that? You seemed to be trying to justify your actions," Det. Sgt. Bergin said.
"You blackened him. It is not fair to do that… He is not a paedophile. We have looked into his background… You probably could not believe the news – the man you put down the drain was dead. He did not deserve to have his name blackened. You have not owned up. You have not taken responsibility. It takes guts to say you were wrong. To blacken his name is wrong. Now is the time to do it – for Liam, for his family, for his friends.”
Mr O’Loughlin replied, “The truth will come out.” The defendant gave this reply a number of times and added: “I don’t want to do it the Garda Síochána way. This will be completely concocted.”
Det. Sgt. Bergin said the truth was that Mr O’Loughlin assaulted Liam Manley and no one else assisted in putting him down the chute. He asked why Liam Manley had to leave this life so horribly, so alone.
During the interview a week after Mr Manley’s body was found, Mr O’Loughlin said: “I have said a prayer for him every day.”
He also said that he had not called the late Mr Manley a paedophile – as alleged by witnesses in his apartment – and had not suspected that about the deceased. Mr O’Loughlin told Sergeant Katrine Tansley that he had family in Ennis, County Clare, and he had moved around Clare, Limerick and Cork since he was 18 and lived in Garden City Apartments in Cork for 15 months before May 2013.
Asked generally about drinking he said, “Drinking is a bit of an issue because of stupid situations I get myself into.”
As for the Saturday night/ Sunday morning of May 11/12 2013 he said, “I was fairly hammered.”
“Did you assault an elderly man?” Sgt. Tansley asked. He replied, “I do not remember. Some sort of situation occurred. I would not like to give details on any specifics. I want to get to the bottom of it as well. I want to make sure I remember 100% and give proper information.”
“Did you assault him?” he was asked again and replied, “I don’t know if I assaulted him or he assaulted me. There was an argument between me and Liam Manley.”
“What was the argument over?” he was asked and he replied, “I cannot recall.” It is anticipated that the prosecution will conclude its evidence tomorrow.