Flex and lace found around man’s neck

The body of a man taken from the River Bandon in suspicious circumstances had black flex and lace around his neck, a Central Criminal Court jury has heard.

Ciprian Grozavu, aged 42, with a last address at Bridge House, Sean Hales Place, Bandon, Co Cork, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Jonathan Duke, 27, at that address on November 13, 2011.

Opening the prosecution case to a jury on Monday, Tim O’Leary said they will hear evidence that Mr Duke was seen alive on the evening of November 13, 2011, and later found dead “some way into” the River Bandon in West Cork.

Counsel said that, during the trial, the jury would hear evidence that the deceased had been “trussed up or tied up in some way” and that his death was caused by strangulation.

Pat Dolan, a retired garda, gave evidence yesterday that he was a scene-of-crime examiner in November 2011.

He said he received a phone call on November 14, 2011, informing him that the body of a male had been taken out of the River Bandon and that it was “suspicious”.

Mr Dolan said that when he arrived on the scene, the body was lying face upwards with a black lace tied around the left ankle and black flex and a grey lace around the neck.

A white flex was visible over the right knee and there were linear purple marks on both arms of the deceased, Mr Dolan told the court-room.

Denis Boyle, a native of Bandon who continues to live and work in the West Cork town, gave evidence that he had been in town to meet some family and friends when he saw Mr Duke lying on the steps of Bridge House.

With Mr Duke were two people: A woman and a man known as the “Romanian chippy”, said Mr Boyle, though he did not know his real name.

The “Romanian chippy”, who was standing at the door to Bridge House while Mr Duke was lying on the steps, told the woman who was with them to “get in the door”.

“He just told her to get in the door,” Mr Boyle told the court.

On Monday, Mr O’Leary said the prosecution’s case was that the three people knew each other and were drinking in apartment 3 of Bridge House before there was “a violent assault” on Mr Duke.

In conclusion, Mr O’Leary said, it was “abundantly clear” that both Mr Grozavu and Ms O’Connor were involved “at the very least” in intending to cause serious injury to Mr Duke.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Butler and a jury of eight men and four women.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.


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