Court told of phone evidence in Holohan murder trial

Midleton schoolboy, Robert Holohan, photographed a poster on the bedroom wall of the man accused of murdering him.

Midleton schoolboy, Robert Holohan, photographed a poster on the bedroom wall of the man accused of murdering him.

The time the picture was taken was logged on Robert’s new Nokia phone as 7.32am on December 28 2004, a week before he was killed by Wayne O’Donoghue, aged 21, of Ballyedmond, Midleton, County Cork.

The poster was in the style of a road sign and showed a figure crawling across a road.

At Midleton Garda Station on January 17, in the last interview of the accused by the gardaí, Detective Sergeant Brian Goulding questioned O’Donoghue about the picture found on Robert’s phone.

“Did you ever take a photo of that poster and send it to Robert Holohan’s mobile phone?” he asked.

The accused replied: “I never did but I witnessed him taking that picture himself and there was also someone else in the room while he took that picture.”

After another brief exchange, the detective asked: “OK, do you remember Robert Holohan taking a picture of that poster in your bedroom?”

Wayne O’Donoghue replied: “Yes.”

Det. Sgt Goulding asked: “OK, when did he take that picture?”

“Well to my recollection anyway I think I am 90% certain after seeing the date now, that it was on the day he purchased his mobile phone, his new mobile phone,” O’Donoghue replied.

State Pathologist, Marie Cassidy, testified that Robert’s mobile phone was found in the right hand pocket of his track suit pants during her post mortem examination of the body on January 12/13, where the body was found in undergrowth near Inch Strand and at Cork University Hospital.

Evidence of calls received by this phone were put in evidence yesterday and Wayne O’Donoghue was given an opportunity to comment on some of the calls that he made.

The transcripts of the phone record included details of phone calls and text messages sent from and received by the accused’s phone on January 4, the day Robert Holohan was killed.

The phone evidence included two calls made from the accused’s mobile to Robert’s mobile at 9.19pm and 9.39pm, several hours after Robert’s death.

When gardai asked why he made these calls he replied: “As I was saying it was to keep up the pretence like.” When gardaí asked if Robert’s phone had rung out he replied “I do not know to be honest. I was not really listening like.”

Wayne O’Donoghue said he was under legal advice to answer only yes or no to detectives questions in his last interview at Midleton Garda Station about the death of Robert Holohan.

The seven women and five men of the jury at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork saw the last interview on video tape in which Frank Buttimer, solicitor, had visited Midleton Garda Station, just before this final interview.

The jury watched as O’Donoghue - this time wearing an Adidas baseball cap - responded to questions relating to exhibits in the case. For instance he was asked to identify the black bags that were placed over the body of 11 year old school boy.

He was also asked to identify other plastic bags.

O’Donoghue, 21, Ballyedmond, Midleton, denies murder but admits manslaughter.

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