Pair on double murder charge returned for trial

A man and woman facing double murder charges after two bodies were recovered from a West Cork river have been returned for trial.

Catherine O’Connor, aged 35, and Ciprian Grozavu, aged 37 were brought before Macroom District Court yesterday where they were served with the book of evidence.

Inspector Gerry Lacey told Judge James McNulty the DPP had recommended that both defendants be returned for trial before a judge and jury at the next sitting of the Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge McNulty granted his application to have them remanded in custody to appear before the next sitting of that court.

Ms O’Connor, who is originally from Kinsale, and Romanian national Mr Grozavu, who both have addresses at 3 Bridge House, Sean Hales Place, Bandon, were charged early last month with the murder of English father of four John Forrester, aged 42, at Bridge House, Bandon, on Nov 12 last.

A native of Blackpool, Forrester was known locally as “Johnny English”.

Ms O’Connor and Mr Grozavu were previously charged last year with the murder of Jonathan Duke, aged 27, from Bandon, at Bridge House, Bandon, on Nov 12 last.

The bodies of both men were recovered from the River Bandon by gardaí.

Mr Duke’s body was recovered from the water under Bandon Bridge on Nov 14 while Mr Forrester’s remains, which were found wrapped in a rug, were discovered just over a mile downstream on Nov 15.

The court previously heard that when Ms O’Connor was charged with Mr Duke’s murder she replied: “No” while Mr Grozavu said: “I didn’t do it.”

Members of Mr Duke’s family were in court yesterday.

Unlike the defendants’ previous court appearances in West Cork, which were marked by tight security, there were no special security arrangements in place around the courthouse.

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