Man appeals murder verdict

A convicted murderer has appealed his conviction on grounds that gardaí “harvested” evidence from him after telling his solicitor he was in custody on foot of a separate matter.

John Walsh, aged 49, with an address at Cork St, Mitchelstown, Co Cork, denied murdering John McManus at a flat on Wellington Rd, Cork City, on a date unknown between October 28 and November 7, 2008.

He was found guilty and given the mandatory life sentence on December 9, 2010.

Patrick Gageby SC, for Walsh, told the Court of Appeal gardaí had a strategy of not telling Walsh’s solicitor “what they were about” when they arrested him.

Mr Gageby said Walsh’s solicitor, Frank Buttimer, had been told Walsh was arrested on foot of a bench warrant and failing to display a valid NCT certificate. However, while he was in custody he gave up five tranches of material evidence related to their murder investigation.

It was a strategy to steal a march on the accused, Mr Gageby said, and to deprive him of legal advice when the gardaí were “harvesting” a substantial amount of evidence for the murder probe.

The court heard Walsh consented to having his clothes examined while in custody after Mr Buttimer was told his client had been arrested on foot of a bench warrant and having no NCT.

The following morning, when Walsh was being transported to the District Court in a patrol car, he made remarks about what had happened on the night Mr McManus met his death.

Counsel for the DPP, Marjorie Farrelly SC, said

that, at the time of Walsh’s arrest, the gardaí were not aware that a murder had been committed or that the accused had anything to do with it.

Mr Justice George Birmingham said the Court of Appeal would reserve judgment to a date “as soon as possible”.


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