A 47-year-old man told gardaí that the Cork woman he is charged with murdering at her home on Easter Sunday last year had a “past life” and that people had regularly called to her home in the months before her death.
The body of mother-of-three Catherine Smart (aged 57) was discovered on the floor of her house in Bailick Court, Midleton, on the morning of April 4, 2010. She had been subjected to a violent assault and died from multiple blunt force injuries to the head.
Derrick Daly (aged 47), originally from Enfield in Co Meath but with an address at St Vincent's Hostel in Cork city, has pleaded not guilty to her murder.
In the second of seven interviews conducted at Middleton garda station, Daly told detectives that in the months prior to her death, people had begun regularly calling to Catherine Smart’s home.
Daly said that on one occasion a “small dirty aul fella” knocked on the door and that he had at times answered the door and told the callers “where to go”.
“She had a past life, I’ll just put it that way,” Daly told gardaí.
Today’s proceedings were taken up entirely with video tape evidence of Daly’s interrogation by gardaí. It is anticipated that the jury will view more than 10 hours of video footage recorded by gardaí over the course seven interviews with the accused man.
The jury heard that former construction worker Daly had been living with Catherine Smart for a year and a half prior to her death. They did not have a sexual relationship.
On the night before she died, Catherine Smart had been out socialising in a number of pubs in Middleton. She was walked to her door by a male friend, who encountered an intoxicated Daly in the house.
Gardaí also had an encounter with a highly intoxicated Daly in the early hours of Sunday morning, having called to Bailick Court in answer to a complaint from Catherine Smart that she was locked out of her home.
Daly told gardaí that he left the house early on the Sunday morning to visit a local Lidl shop, returning approximately 25 minutes later to find Catherine Smart dead. He denied any altercation or argument had occurred.
The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and a jury of seven women and five men.