Murder accused told partner 'something bad had happened', court told

The jury in an ongoing murder trial has heard that the partner of the accused man told gardaí he came home late and upset one night in December 2006, and told her “something bad had happened”.

In a statement to gardaí in December 2007, Jennifer McBride said that Angelo O'Riordan was upset and had “drink taken” when he arrived home in the early hours of December 13, 2006.

Ms McBride, who took the witness stand at the Central Criminal Court yesterday, told the jury in her live evidence that O'Riordan was upset over a number of things that night, and that she recalled him saying “bad things were always happening”.

She said that O'Riordan had left their apartment in Dundalk on the evening of December 12, 2006, in the company of his brother and a friend.

She began calling his mobile phone at around 11pm when he had failed to come home, but did not get through despite making a number of calls.

Ms McBride said O'Riordan then returned home after half past one, and became upset when she gave out to him for being away all night when they had a young baby.

She said they fought, and he became upset over his brother who had died three weeks previously, and over his father whom he had “issues with”. O'Riordan said to her that “bad things were always happening”, Ms McBride told the jury.

Senior counsel for the prosecution, Ms Pauline Walley, put it to the witness that she had told gardaí that O'Riordan came home “very upset” and had drink taken and said “something bad had happened”.

Ms McBride replied that he was upset over a number of things that night, including his father and his brother, and that she was also giving out to him for not answering his phone.

Ms Walley asked if O'Riordan was still upset when he went to bed. Ms McBride replied that they were both upset, but that they both went to sleep.

O'Riordan is on trial for the murder of Aidan Myers at Faughart shrine outside Dundalk town on December 13, 2006. He denies the charge.

He also denies another charge of assault and a third charge of hijacking a Mitsubishi space-wagon on December 12.

The prosecution is arguing that O'Riordan was part of a common design with a number of other men, and was involved in ramming the Opel Astra that Mr Myers and his friend were travelling in, before attacking them with machetes.

It is also the prosecution's case that as Mr Myers was lying on the road injured, O'Riordan got into a Mitsubishi space-wagon he had earlier hijacked, and rammed the Astra, causing it to run over Mr Myers and drag him along the road.

The 37-year-old died a few hours later in Louth County Hospital after suffering three heart attacks. The doctor who attended him noted tyre marks on his stomach.

Eye-witnesses have described for the jury how they heard the engine of the Mitsubishi being revved hard and saw smoke coming from the wheels, as it rammed the Astra.

Passer-by, Jimmy Fox, said he would never forget the sight of the car being “shoved on top” of Mr Myers, as he shouted out in pain. “To call it screams isn't enough” Mr Fox said.

The trial resumes on Monday morning before the jury of six men and six women.

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