A detective garda yesterday denied that a man accused of murder was offered a manslaughter deal in return for co-operating with gardai.
Detective Garda Sean O'Brien, National Bureau of Criminal Investigation,told the Central Criminal Court that he was one of a number of gardai who questioned the accused, William Roche, at Henry Street Garda Station after his arrest for the murder of 21-year-old John Carroll.
Defence Counsel Blaise O'Carroll SC put it to the witness that gardai promised the accused he would get off with a five-year manslaughter sentence if he made certain admissions. Mr O'Carroll further suggested that Det Garda O'Brien had promised "on his wife's grave" that the accused would get such a deal.
"At no stage did I swear on my wife's grave in front of William Roche, nor would I," Det Garda O'Brien replied. The witness said he met William Roche by chance in Limerick in November 2000 during another investigation. He said the accused passed a remark about his wife but he told him that his wife had died.
Det Garda O'Brien said the fact that his late wife had been mentioned in such a manner "in this court today" was "grossly offensive" to him, he told the jury.
The witness denied that gardai had fabricated sections of interview memos in which the accused allegedly made certain inculpatory statements, including that he punched and kicked Mr Carroll.
"That is what William Roche said," the witness told the court. All notes, he added, were read over to the accused. He agreed they were correct and he signed them.
William Roche (aged 23), a native of Limerick with an address at Millstream, Killaloe, Co Clare, has pleaded not guilty to murdering John Carroll, Cappamore, Co Limerick at Garraun, Ballinahinch, Newport, Co Tipperary on December 4, 1998.
The court has heard that Mr Carroll, whose badly beaten body was found in an isolated boreen, died from multiple skull fractures.
The trial continues Tuesday.