Murder victim was found with tie around neck, court hears

The trial of a man accused of murdering his wife ten years ago was told that the dead woman was found with a tie tied tightly around her neck, the Central Criminal Court heard.

The trial of a man accused of murdering his wife ten years ago was told that the dead woman was found with a tie tied tightly around her neck, the Central Criminal Court heard.

John Diver (aged 65), Kilnamanagh Road, Walkinstown, Dublin denies murdering his wife Geraldine (aged 42) at Robinhood Road, Clondalkin on December 2, 1996.

At the Central Criminal Court today several witnesses told that Geraldine Diver was found in her car parked outside the gates of Buckley’s builders providers with a tie wound tightly around her neck.

Rodney Bray, who was employed by a security guard, said that he noticed the car after he had checked the builder’s providers around 10.40pm.

He noticed a red Renault Clio car sticking out onto the road, and went to investigate.

In response to counsel for the prosecution Mr Edward Comyn SC Mr Bray said he checked the premises on two previous occasions that night, but did not notice that particular car.

Mr Bray said he went over to the car, and opened the door. There he found a middle-aged woman in the drivers seat.

She was not conscious, and had something tied around her neck.

“The underneath of the car was dry,” he said, adding that it had started to rain around 10pm that night.

The engine of the car was still running and he turned it off.

Mr Bray then immediately radioed for assistance, and remained on the scene.

Under cross-examination from counsel for the defence Mr Brendan Grehan SC Mr Bray agreed that the area was well lit up at night.

“There did not appear to be any signs of a struggle,” said Detective Garda William Browne, who saw that something was tied around her neck.

In response to Prosecuting Counsel Mr. Shane Murphy SC, he said that when he first arrived on the scene he noticed that Mrs Diver’s hands were by her sides, and her feet were on the pedals of the car.

On the night in question he had been visiting a friend in the area, and went to assist Mr Bray.

The Detective said that Mrs Diver was sitting upright, and there was a small amount of blood coming from her nostril.

He added that while her clothing was intact, Mrs Diver’s top had been pulled up and her breasts were exposed.

Henry Harding, who worked in security at premises close to where Mrs Diver was found, said that he went to scene with the Detective.

“Mrs Diver appeared to be dead, as there was no movement,” he said.

He said that part of Mrs Diver’s clothing “was interfered with".

The jury of five women and seven men also heard from fire-fighter Frank McDonald, who was staffing the ambulance that arrived on the scene.

The tie was wound tightly around her neck and was tied to the headrest on the drivers seat, and tied in a knot.

“At first I thought it was a pair of tights,” he said, but then realised it was a grey tie.

He saw the blood on her face, he added that that Mrs Diver’s tongue was sticking out, her pupils were dilated and there was neither a response to light, nor a pulse.

However, as it was a young, healthy women they decided to give her every chance, cut the tie, placed her in the ambulance and brought her to St James Hospital.

His colleague Thomas Doolan said they performed a number of medical procedures on Mrs Diver, but it was to no avail.

Siobhan Donnelly, a nurse who was on duty in St James’ Hospital on December 2, 1996, said that items including, some jewellery, a condom and a picture id was removed from Mrs Diver’s clothes.

The court also heard from Dr John Hayden who said that Mrs Diver was pronounced dead at 11.25pm.

Two colleagues of Geraldine Diver, Enda Moran and Joan O’Sullivan said that Geraldine Diver left her work, at the admissions office in the Coombe hospital, around 9.20pm the night of her death.

Geraldine admitted her last patients around 9.05pm, and was described as being in good spirits.

The trial, which is being heard by Mr Justice Philip O’Sullivan, is expected to last two weeks.

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