Accused had used bloody €50 note on night of killing, court hears

The trial of a young Kilkenny man, accused of murdering his friend’s mother, has heard that he used a bloody €50 note to pay for a playstation game on the evening of the killing.

The trial of a young Kilkenny man, accused of murdering his friend’s mother, has heard that he used a bloody €50 note to pay for a playstation game on the evening of the killing.

Mark Costigan, with an address in Aylesbury, Kilkenny has denied the murder of Christine Quinn (aged 36) at her home on Greenfields Road in Kilkenny on December 5, 2002.

Paul Murphy, who sold Mark Costigan (aged 18) the game at about 5.30pm, said the LMA Manager was paid for with a voucher and a €50 note.

"The note had blood on one side of it," he told the Central Criminal Court.

"At first I put it in the till. After Mark had left, I took it out," continued Mr Murphy.

After a co-worker in Gamesworld told him it could not be given to a customer as change, Mr Murphy said he brought it into the storeroom and washed the blood off it.

The witness also told the court that the accused "had blood the whole way across the front of his jumper. I asked him what had happened. He said he had fallen and cut his hand".

He added that Mr Costigan seemed to be wearing a black glove on his right hand.

The court was shown CCTV footage of the transaction.

One of the accused’s teachers, Olive Keyes, gave evidence that there was nothing wrong with her student’s hand that morning.

She taught the accused Contemporary Issues and Hotel, Catering and Tourism at Kilkenny Vocational School and he was present in her class at 11.50am that morning.

"There was nothing wrong with his hand," she told the court.

In a previous statement to the gardaí, Ms Keyes had said: "I noticed nothing unusual with Mark Costigan. He was quiet and well behaved. I noticed nothing about his hands. Mark Costigan was a bright student with plenty of ability."

She confirmed to the court that students were relieved from school 12.20pm that afternoon due to a lack of teachers and that utensils for the catering class were available to students in the school kitchen.

Two other witnesses testified to noticing nothing wrong with the accused early that Thursday.

Helen Donegan was one of two Loretto schoolgirls, who said she met Mark Costigan at the Watergate Theatre at about 1.30pm.

The jury heard that he was a 15-minute walk from home at this stage, was on his own and heading out of town towards Irishtown.

The court also heard from Niall Doheny, who lived with Mark Costigan’s brother, Ross, at the time.

He told the court that sometime between 7pm and 9pm on December 12, "myself and Ross were playing computer games in Ross’s room".

He said Mark Costigan knocked on the door and Ross went downstairs to talk to him.

Detective Garda Luke Kelly and Detective Garda Willie Maher called to the accused’s home shortly after 3pm on 11 December, 2002.

"Mark Costigan came to the door," Detective Kelly told the court.

"We told him we wished to speak to him and he invited us in. Being only 16, we asked him could he call to the station later with his father. They came at about 8pm. We were inviting people who had any contact with the Quinn home to volunteer fingerprints."

Detective Kelly brought the teenager into the room where the fingerprinting was being carried out.

"I noticed one of his hands was heavily bandaged with salmon bandage," he remarked, adding that it was "unprofessionally put on".

Det. Kelly asked him what had happened and the accused told him he had cut it on a saw in school.

"Prints were taken from his left hand. I asked him to return when his right hand had healed," he explained.

The accused then made a statement in the presence of his father and signed it with his left hand.

Detective Garda Willie Maher also noticed the hand injury and bandage on this occasion.

"It was only when he produced his left hand to sign I commented; ‘You’re left-handed like myself’. It was after that I learned he was, in fact, right-handed."

In cross-examination, Detective Maher admitted the killer would have to had to leave the house with a playstation in broad daylight by the front, back or side garden.

He also admitted that no one has made a statement to seeing him leave.

Over a week later, Mr Costigan’s injury was still drawing suspicions.

Garda Victor Isdell told the court that he and another garda called house-to-house, including to Mark Costigan’s home on December 20, 2002.

They were filling in questionnaires as part of the investigation.

The door was answered by the accused’s father, John Costigan, who commented that the gardaí had already been there.

"When we told him about the questionnaires, he invited us in," said Garda Isdell.

"The only other person present was Mark Costigan. We spoke to both of them in the sitting room. Mark didn’t take a seat, but assumed a crouched position in front of the fireplace," he added.

Garda Isdell said he eventually changed this position to one of genuflection.

In answering the question about his movements on the afternoon of the killing, Mark Costigan had indicated that he was in school, and from 4pm until 6pm had been downtown.

"He said he had called into Gamesworld. Elsewhere on the questionnaire he said 'Jason drank heavily' Jason didn’t get on with Paul. They were moving out."

Garda Isdell also made an observation about the accused at the bottom of the questionnaire.

"Kept hands in pockets during the interview. Was conscious about them. Bandaged heavily," he wrote.

Finally, Sergeant Tony Lonergan told the court he took possession of two clocks from the house on the day following the attack.

One was a free-standing mantel clock, taken from the back sitting room.

"When I seized it, it was stopped at 2.54," he testified. "The glass on the front of it was cracked and the second hand wasn’t working."

He also seized a clock from the kitchen, which was stopped at 5.45.

Yesterday, the court heard that the house on Greenfields Road was "the scene of a sustained and violent assault and two deliberate fires".

Detective Garda Shane Henry concluded that the attack "began upstairs in the double bedroom, moved through the landing, down the stairs, into the hall and kitchen. Two fires were then set and the assailant made his escape through the rear patio door".

The ballistic evidence expert drew his conclusions from types and directions of blood staining on various walls and objects throughout the house.

He also pointed out that the bloodstains were "coated with soot, indicating they were created before the fire".

In his examination of the crime-scene, he noticed that the double bed upstairs, although made up, was disturbed.

"Between the disturbed area and the edge of bed was a clump of hair," he said.

The detective took a number of sketches and samples for forensic tests, including this hair, two bloody knives, the outside door handle, a blood-stained soccer jersey and duvet cover, a bloody tea-towel and swabs of blood from walls and surfaces.

The trial will continue on Monday before a jury of six men and six women and Mr Justice Michael Peart.

More in this section

IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.