Deliberations continue in rubbish chute murder trial

The jury in the trial of a man accused of murdering a homeless person deliberated throughout yesterday without reaching a verdict. They will resume their deliberations on Tuesday.

David O’Loughlin, aged 28, with an address at Garden City Apartments, North Main St, Cork, denies murdering Liam Manley, aged 59, at Garden City Apartments May 12, 2013.

During his evidence in the trial, Mr O’Loughlin admitted punching Mr Manley and later putting him into the rubbish chute outside his apartment. He claimed: “I thought he would slide down in to the rubbish and go on about his business.”

Brendan Nix, defending, said in his closing address to the jury that the prosecution had conducted an experiment by putting a mannequin styled on the size and weight of the deceased into the chute and that the figure was entirely undamaged.

Mr Nix told the court the prosecution said nothing about this in their closing of the case because it did not fit with their picture of how things had happened. He said their own scientist accepted that rubbish in a skip under the chute would break the fall of someone dropping into it. “This is all about intention. What was the intention of Mr O’Loughlin?” Mr Nix asked.

Criticising An Garda Síochána, Mr Nix referred to the McBrearty case in Donegal “where a man went to jail on falsified evidence. They do it as a matter of course. Guards do — for some reason — when they form a view, they will go to any lengths to prove it. That is the society we live in.”

He referred to the accused effectively taking the deceased — and another man earlier — to his apartment and welcoming them. Mr Nix asked: “Is it not pathetic to hear Mr O’Loughlin say, ‘I can’t believe where I am, that it has come to this’? Something happened to turn the samaritan into the devil.”

Seán Gillane, prosecuting, said there was a repeated pattern of the accused lying about the death of Mr Manley. “The mantra in this case (from the accused) is, ‘I cannot recall’,” Mr Gillane said.

He said Mr Manley seemed to have struggled for his life at the hands of a man twice his size. He submitted that there was an absurdity in the defendant not thinking that putting Mr Manley in the chute would result in death or serious injury.

“Mr O’Loughlin is responsible for the death. There is only one read of it. He intended to cause at a minimum serious injury to the deceased,” Mr Gillane said.

He asked if any juror would hesitate on deciding what would happen if a man was put backwards into a chute and dropped the 40ft distance.

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