The former army sergeant on trial for the murder of Kildare woman Phyllis Murphy over 22 years ago told gardai he could not remember ever speaking to her.
Phyllis Murphy's naked body was found in a wooded area close to the Wicklow Gap on January 18 1980.
John Crerar (54), a father-of-five of Woodside Park, Kildare, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Philomena Murphy (23), known as Phyllis, on a date unknown between 22 December 1979 and January 18 1980 within the State.
The State alleges that the re-examination of blood and other samples taken at the time of the killing "points" to his guilt.
At the time of her death, Phyllis Murphy was living in digs in Rathangan, Co Kildare.
On December 22 1979, she had spent the day in Newbridge buying Christmas presents for her family and having her hair done.
She was about to get the bus back to Kildare when she "vanished" between 6.30 and 6:45pm, according to counsel for the DPP, Mr Michael Durack SC.
Today, retired detective sergeant Joseph T Higgins told the Central Criminal Court trial that he interviewed a number of people in the course of a major Garda investigation into the killing.
He took a statement from John Crerar, who was then a security guard at the local Black & Decker factory, on 16 January 1980 in Kildare garda station.
In the course of the statement, Mr Crerar said he could not remember ever speaking to Phyllis Murphy in his life.
He said he did not know her to speak to, although he knew her father and her sister Patricia, because she used to work in the Jet garage across from where he at one time lived.
In the statement, John Crerar gave an account of his movements on the night Ms Murphy was allegedly abducted. The prosecution now allege that that account was false.
Earlier, Crerar's counsel, Mr Roger Sweetman SC put it to retired detective sergeant John McManus that a reconstruction of a trip to and from the location where Ms Murphy's body was found was "of little or no value" because the original journey would have been in darkness, on a winter night and on a road surface that had since been greatly improved.
It was of no value "given the time of the year, the weather, the lighting and the change in the road network", Mr Sweetman said. Mr McManus said he disagreed.
"It's the same distance", he said. "We kept under 50 miles an hour. The average speed we travelled was just over 34 miles an hour, which is very slow."
The trial continues before Mr Justice McKechnie.