Kinsale native Catherine O’Connor pleaded guilty to murdering her 42-year-old neighbour, John Forrester, when arraigned before the Central Criminal Court yesterday.
O’Connor of Bridge House, Seán Hales Place, Bandon, murdered the English father-of-four in Bridge House on Nov 12, 2011. They each occupied a flat in the house.
Detective Sergeant Fergal Foley told the court the Garda investigation into another murder led to an investigation into Mr Forrester’s murder, and the discovery of his body on Nov 15 that year.
The body of the boatmaker was found in the River Bandon a mile-and-a-half east of the town. It was trussed up in cable wire and wrapped in carpet; his feet were tied with the belt from the cardigan O’Connor had been wearing on Nov 12, he said.
Det Sgt Foley said he died of blunt force trauma and asphyxia, his hyoid bone had been broken and there was bruising to his throat. He also had a fractured skull, several broken ribs, a broken hip and lacerations to his head and mouth. He said a technical examination of the victim’s flat showed that blood had been mopped up.
However, O’Connor’s fingerprint was found in Mr Forrester’s blood on a broken Man Utd cup. It was established that the jagged edge of this cup and a broken plate had caused head and face injuries to Mr Forrester.
In O’Connor’s flat, her cardigan was missing the belt discovered around the victim’s feet and Mr Forrester’s blood was found on a mobile phone.
The detective added that on Nov 13, O’Connor had told the couple living in the house’s third flat she had killed Mr Forrester.
She was arrested on suspicion of the murder on Jan 28, 2012, and had been in custody since.
He said O’Connor had known her victim several years earlier when she lived rough in Cork City. She had addiction problems and had come to Bandon from rehab. She lived with Mr Forrester in his flat for six weeks before moving to another flat with a different person.
The detective said she had 55 previous convictions, the most significant dating from July last, when she was found guilty of murdering a man called Jonathan Duke.