Murder case nears end

The judge in the Westmeath cold-case murder trial has been summarising the evidence for the jury.

Mr Justice John Edwards began reviewing the testimony from the month-long trial after giving the Central Criminal Court jury some legal directions.

Vera McGrath (aged 61) has pleaded not guilty to murdering her 43-year-old husband, Bernard Brian McGrath, at their home in Lower Coole, Westmeath 23 years ago.

Her co-accused and former son-in-law, Colin Pinder (aged 47), of Liverpool, England has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to Mr McGrath’s manslaughter between March 10 and April 18, 1987.

Veronica McGrath, daughter of Vera and Brian McGrath, told the court that she was engaged to Mr Pinder when her father was killed.

She testified that she saw the defendants beat her father with a spanner, slash hook and lump-hammer before burying his burnt remains.

Mr Justice Edwards will continue reviewing the evidence tomorrow, after which he will send the eight men and three women out to deliberate.


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