THE prosecution in the trial of Waterford man John O’Brien, accused of murdering his wife, Meg Walsh, told the jury they should not allow themselves to be swayed by any “sympathy or emotion or prejudice”.
Bus driver O’Brien, 41, with an address in Ballinakill Downs, Co Waterford, denies murdering 35-year-old Meg on a date between October 1, 2006, and October 15, 2006.
The mother-of-one’s body was recovered from the River Suir on October 15, 2006.
She had died from blunt-force trauma to the head. She also had injuries to her shoulder, arms and hands.
In his closing speech for the prosecution, Dominic McGinn told the jury of seven men and five women that it was a difficult case to decide because there were certain gaps in the prosecution case.
It was impossible to tell where Meg Walsh was killed; when she was killed; where the body was disposed of in the river; when it was disposed of or how it was disposed of.
However, he said that, taken together, all the pieces of evidence pointed to one inescapable conclusion.
Mr McGinn said that since O’Brien knew he had not killed his wife in their house he would have no difficulty allowing the gardaí full access. The same was not true of Meg’s Mitsubishi Carisma. “The car is the real crime scene,” he said.
It had been found several days after Meg’s disappearance covered in her blood.
However, he said that, for a man whose wife was missing and who was supposed to be helping the gardaí with their investigation, he had been consistently disingenuous and evasive.
Mr McGinn said O’Brien’s accounts of his movements between Sunday, October 1, and Monday, October 2, were full of discrepancies and did not tally with independent evidence. In particular, the period of Sunday afternoon and Monday evening were largely unaccounted for.
These unaccounted periods tallied with the sightings of the silver Mitsubishi Carisma, which the prosecution say he used to move Meg’s body to the point it was disposed of, and then abandoned in the car park of the Uluru pub.
He said that despite what O’Brien had told gardaí, his marriage was breaking down after he assaulted Ms Walsh less than two weeks before her disappearance.
Mr McGinn said that O’Brien knew that, after signing over the house to his wife, if she left him, he would be left with nothing.
He told the jury that there was “only one inescapable conclusion from the evidence, and that is that John O’Brien is guilty of murder”.
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