Body pulled from river was ‘rolled up in carpet’

The body of a man was found in the Bandon River tied with cable and the belt from a cardigan and rolled up in a carpet, a jury was told yesterday as a 39-year-old man went on trial for murder.

Ciprian Grozavu, of Bridge House, Sean Hales Place, Bandon, Co Cork, is charged with the murder of John Forrester, 42, at Bridge House on Nov 12, 2011.

Grozavu was arraigned at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork yesterday and he pleaded not guilty to the single count on the indictment.

Tim O’Leary told Mr Justice Paul Carney and a jury of six men and six women that he would outline the case against the accused man in terms of what the prosecution expected the evidence would be but he stressed that this outline was not evidence.

He said that the deceased lived at flat 1 and Grozavu lived at flat 3 in the three-flat building. Catherine O’Connor, who previously pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Forrester, had been in a relationship with him up to one week before his death and she had commenced a relationship with Grozavu on breaking up with Mr Forrester.

Mr O’Leary said that O’Connor’s plea of guilty to the murder of Mr Forrester had no effect on the presumption of Grozavu’s innocence.

They had been drinking together in Bandon that evening. A fourth person left the three of them shortly after 9pm and the prosecution believed that the murder occurred an hour later.

“The body was disposed of by getting it down to the riverbank. You will hear evidence of finding blood by the riverbank and that blood is the blood of Mr Forrester. Mr Grozavu was seen between 10 and 11pm with his clothes on and a short time later being seen topless and accompanied by Ms O’Connor outside Bridge House.

"The evidence will be that he appears to have been in a topless condition coming from the direction of the slipway to the riverbank. A number of days later the body was found on the south bank of the River Bandon 1.5 kilometres east of Bridge House in the river.

“It had become snagged in a branch, wrapped in a carpet, trussed up in black cable wire and the grey belt from a grey cardigan around his legs.”

The case, which is expected to last two weeks, will continue today.

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