A man who denies murdering a 59-year-old punched him four or five times and called him a paedophile and “kiddy-fiddler” before dragging him out of his apartment, it was alleged yesterday by a witness.
David O’Loughlin, aged 31, with an address at Garden City Apartments, North Main St, Cork, pleaded not guilty of murdering Liam Manley, 59, at Garden City Apartments on May 12, 2013, at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork. The accused was living at apartment 10 at the relevant time.
Yesterday, David O’Mahony, of Riverview Estate, Ballyvolane, told Ms Justice Tara Burns and a jury that he was out drinking that night and called to the defendant’s top-floor apartment at around 6am on the Sunday.
Mr O’Mahony said that when he arrived at the apartment, he was offered a bottle of Carlsberg and that there was a man, aged 50 to 60, whom he had had never seen before, drinking in the apartment too. He said Mr O’Loughlin called this older man a paedophile and kiddy-fiddler, using each term twice, starting softly but getting loud.
Mr O’Mahony said the older man replied: “No, I am not.”
The witness said: “I think he said it twice. First he said it quiet, the second time he shouted louder.”
Mr O’Mahony said that after this, Mr O’Loughlin punched the older man four or five times full force. “The man just sat there through every punch. He just sat there,” said Mr O’Mahony.
The witness said he (Mr O’Mahony) asked Mr O’Loughlin to stop and that the accused looked angry.
As for the other man, he said, “The nose of the elderly man was gone, his nose was flat on his face. David dragged the man out the door… The only thing I heard after was a bang of metal. He came back after 10 or 15 minutes. He said to me, ‘He is gone down the drain’. I asked him what drain and he just said he is gone down the drain.”
Patrick McGrath, prosecuting, asked the witness if he knew what that meant and Mr O’Mahony replied: “Not at the time. I wouldn’t have even known there was a rubbish chute there — that was my first time in that apartment.”
Cross-examining, Michael O’Higgins, defending, said that according to Mr O’Mahony’s own evidence, he had five pints and one Southern Comfort in a pub followed by five pints, six Cointreau, and two ecstasy tablets in a club and told gardaí that after the tablets “the night was a blur”.
His cross-examination will continue on Monday.
Dr Margot Bolster, the assistant State pathologist, said the body of Mr Manley, was found in a rubbish chute, head down into bags of rubbish. She said there were rib injuries in keeping with forceful entry to the chute.
Dr Bolster said cause of death was related to where the body was positioned in a narrow waste chute with a bag of rubbish ahead of the body. She said the cause of death was a complex combination of hypoxia (reduced oxygen), mechanical asphyxia and pressure asphyxia due to being trapped head down in a waste chute.
She said the deceased was a small, thin man and had a Miraculous Medal on a cord around his neck.