Murder accused ‘fell asleep after killing’ woman

Roy Webster

A murder accused told gardaí he went home for dinner and fell asleep in front of his TV after beating a woman to death with a hammer, his trial heard yesterday.

The jury has heard evidence that Anne Shortall told Roy Webster she was pregnant with his child and wanted money for an abortion, but it emerged yesterday that a pathologist’s report showed she was not pregnant.

Roy Webster, aged 40, from Ashbree, Ashford, Co Wicklow, has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter of Anne Shortall, 47, on Good Friday, April 3, 2015, at The Murrough, Co Wicklow. 

His plea was not accepted by the State.

Detective Sergeant Fergus O’Brien told Paul Greene, prosecuting, that he interviewed Mr Webster at Wicklow Garda Station on April 7, 2015. 

During that interview, Mr Webster told gardaí he hit Anne Shortall on the head with a hammer “three or four times” after she threatened to tell his wife about their fling.

He said he felt like he was having an out-of-body experience watching himself attack her, but once it was done “it was like I was back in my own skin”.

He said he drove to a Centra shop, called his wife, returned home, had a cup of coffee, ate dinner, and fell asleep on the couch in front of the television. 

“It was like everything was back to normal, like I was myself again,” he said.

When gardaí told him the pathologist’s report showed she had been struck on the head nine times, he said he didn’t remember hitting her that many times. When they said she had bruising on her neck, he said he had no recollection of manhandling her.

Gardaí asked: “Why did you kill her?” and he responded: “I hit her because she was threatening my family and my livelihood.”

Gardaí told him the pathology report confirmed Ms Shortall was not pregnant. Mr Webster said: “I fucking knew it.”

The trial continues.


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