Murder accused breaks down over why he stabbed self

A Fás worker accused of murdering a woman in Clare two years ago broke down as he explained to a Central Criminal Court jury why he stabbed himself in the stomach when the woman’s body was discovered.

Colm Deely, aged 41, of School Rd, Ballyvaughan, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Deirdre McCarthy, aged 43, between 11pm on Mar 27, 2011, and noon the next day.

The Central Criminal Court has heard that Ms McCarthy’s body was found on Fanore Beach on Mar 31.

Asked by Martin Giblin, defending, why he had harmed himself with a knife on the day after Ms McCarthy’s body was discovered, Mr Deely broke down. “Deirdre had been found, and I knew she wasn’t coming back,” he said.

Earlier in his evidence, when asked by Mr Giblin what caused him to place his hands around her neck, Mr Deely said: “She said, ‘forget about your money’, and asked for three thousand more and said I wouldn’t see my boys. She was laughing and I lost complete control of myself. I never meant to hurt her.”

The trial previously heard that the accused told gardaí in interview he had given Ms McCarthy a loan of €2,900 in Mar 2008.

The accused told Mr Giblin he had not cared about the money and it was the effect of what Ms McCarthy had said about not seeing his boys that caused him to lose “complete control”.

Mr Deely said he removed the deceased from her home and put her in his Toyota Starlet car, but did not know what his intentions were because he was in fear and panicking.

He said that somewhere along the road to Fanore, he took the deceased from his car and put her over a wall, telling his counsel that he had “no idea” whether the tide was in or out at the time.

The accused denied he had done anything to Ms McCarthy’s eyes before putting her over the wall.

On Monday the jury heard evidence from Dr Khalid Jabbar, the deputy state pathologist, who said he was struck by the absence of eyes when he examined the body. He said he was forced to entertain the possibility that the eyes were gouged out and that it was the act of a human perpetrator.

He also told the court the tongue was torn, and while there was no evidence of sexual assault, such an event would not always carry a physical manifestation.

The accused told Mr Giblin he was certain the deceased still had her eyes when he put her over the wall, and replied “definitely not” when asked if he had done anything to the tongue.

He said he did not sexually assault Ms McCarthy in any way and agreed that “whatever comes about”, he wanted it to be known he did not do those things.

Mr Deely told his counsel that after he put the body over the wall, he went home and fell asleep in his sitting room.

Asked by Paul Greene, for the State, whether he felt sorry for himself, Mr Deely said he was upset about what had happened.

He said he accepted that he had strangled Ms McCarthy, but said he never meant to hurt her, and agreed that he drove the deceased out to Blackhead in his car.

Mr Deely denied he drove out to the location as it was the nearest place to dump the body, telling the court he was just driving in the car and did not know what he was doing.

The court heard Ms McCarthy, who worked in a B&B in Ballyvaughan, was a friend of Mr Deely and that he had known her for up to 20 years.

The trial continues.

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