Kilkenny murder trial: Firefighter gives evidence of finding body in burning house

Kilkenny murder trial: Firefighter gives evidence of finding body in burning house
John Joseph Malone

The firefighter who found the body of a widow in her home in Kilkenny given evidence at the trial of a man accused of her murder.

John Joseph Malone of Newpark in Kilkenny denies strangling Anne Nancy Smyth to death before setting her house on fire in 1987.

Anthony Lacey was part of the unit from Kilkenny Fire Brigade that responded to reports of a house fire on Wolfe Tone Street in the early hours of Sept 11 1987.

A front window was slightly open, he said and the house was covered in smoke when they eventually forced their way in through the front door.

He said he stumbled over something next to the couch in the living room that turned out to be the body of 69-year-old Nancy Smyth.

A post-mortem revealed marks to her head and neck that suggested she suffered a violent death.

John Joseph Malone was identified as a suspect following a reopening of the investigation many years later.

Under cross-examination today, Nancy’s nephew Des Murphy said he was flabbergast to hear she’d used a money lender and didn't know she’d taken in two lodgers.

Mr. Malone denies her murder.

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