Accused told me he stabbed man, says ex-partner

A woman has told her former partner’s murder trial that when she visited him in prison he told her he had stabbed the deceased.

Accused told me he stabbed man, says ex-partner

She was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court yesterday in the trial of a Kilkenny man accused of murdering a 25-year-old man in Waterford last year.

Tadhg Butler, aged 34, of Seafield, Tramore, Co Waterford, is charged with murdering Michael O’Dwyer at that address on January 10, 2014.

Mr Butler, also known as Thomas O’Grady, has pleaded not guilty to murdering his fellow Kilkenny man by stabbing him once in the chest.

Mary Rose Burke testified she had five children with the accused and had split from him more than three years ago. She said she visited him in Cork Prison on January 13, 2014, after he had been charged with Mr O’Dwyer’s murder.

She said he asked if he could apply for bail to her address, but she said no.

“I asked Thomas what happened that night. He said he couldn’t remember much, that he was drunk and had taken Valium, and that the boy was a good friend of his and he only stabbed him once.”

She said he never went into any specifics.

She said that he mentioned nothing about remorse or an apology to O’Dwyer family.

“He said he was going to try to have it reduced to manslaughter,” she said.

She was then cross- examined by Brendan Grehan, defending.

“Would it be fair to say that nothing would please you more than to have the accused out of your life?” he asked.

“We were already finished,” she said. “He was already out of my life.”

She agreed that theirs had been a bad relationship, which didn’t end well.

He put it to her that the accused told her there was no argument. “You asked him how many times he stabbed Michael and he said that, as far as he knew, he was stabbed only once,” continued Mr Grehan. “It was your suggestion that it might get dropped to manslaughter and he said murder or manslaughter didn’t matter; he didn’t do it.”

Ms Burke denied this too.

“And off you trot to the guards and make a statement,” he said.

“I didn’t trot to the guards. They came to my house,” she replied.

“And then you had something juicy to tell them,” suggested the barrister.

“I told them the truth,” she said.

Denis Vaughan Buckley, prosecuting, had opened the trial to the jury yesterday morning.

Mr Vaughan Buckley said an autopsy found Mr O’Dwyer had died of a single stab wound to the chest, injuring his heart and lung.

“I say there’s more than ample evidence on which you can conclude the accused is guilty of murder.”

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury. It is expected to last two weeks.

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