“Like any predator, Graham Dwyer had an eye for the weak,” said the prosecutor in the architect’s murder trial at the Central Criminal Court.
Mr Dwyer, aged 42, is charged with murdering Ms O’Hara at Killakee, Rathfarnham, Dublin, on August 22, 2012, hours after she was discharged from a mental health hospital.
The Cork-born father of three of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering the 36-year-old childcare worker.
The jury was hearing the closing speech of prosecuting counsel Seán Guerin yesterday on the 40th day of the architect’s murder trial.
Mr Guerin spent three hours summing up the State’s case. He reminded the jury it was the State’s case that the architect stabbed the Dubliner for his own sexual gratification, having arranged to lure her up the mountain in Killakee. He said Elaine O’Hara had the misfortune to be in the circumstances where she was amenable to being in an abusive and manipulative relationship with the accused.
He said the architect had exploited her in the sure knowledge he could do so in a way that would lead everyone to think her death was by suicide.
“It very nearly worked out for him,” he said.
“The relationship, when you view it, is an entirely predatory one,” said Mr Guerin.
“Like any predator, Graham Dwyer had an eye for the weak. Elaine O’Hara was weak,” he continued.
“He could see in her loneliness, friendlessness, isolation, and weakness, the opportunity to separate her from the flock, to get her on her own, to undermine her sense of self worth,” Mr Guerin said.
“The only thing he ever saw in her was a victim.”
He said that all the pieces started to fall into place when Ms O’Hara hit a mental weak point with her admission to hospital in the summer of 2012. He said an opportunity presented itself.
“The people who loved and cared for her would be all the more likely to believe that, at precisely that point, she had made a decision to end her life in the way in which he had envisaged… to take advantage of her in the way he always wanted.”
Mr Guerin said there were four broad strands to the prosecution case: to connect the accused to Ms O’Hara’s disappearance; to show that he had not only the desire but the intention of murdering her by stabbing; to demonstrate that the circumstances of her disappearance reflected almost point by point the detailed plan he had elaborated over time; and to disprove any other possibility such as someone else being involved or death by suicide.