Mulhall sister admits she hit victim with hammer

One of two Dublin sisters accused of murdering an African man who’s headless and dismembered body was found in the Royal Canal, told gardaí how she hit him with a hammer after her sister cut his throat with a Stanley blade, a jury at the Central Criminal Court has heard.

One of two Dublin sisters accused of murdering an African man who’s headless and dismembered body was found in the Royal Canal, told gardaí how she hit him with a hammer after her sister cut his throat with a Stanley blade, a jury at the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Linda Mulhall (aged 31) also told gardaí how she and her sister dragged the body into the bathroom of her mother’s flat and spent a few hours cutting it up with a bread knife and hammer.

She said it took them several trips to dispose of the body parts in the canal, whilst the severed head was taken in a separate bag on the bus to Tallaght.

There she said she put the head in her son's school bag and kissed the bag before saying a prayer.

Along with her sister Charlotte (aged 23) she denies murdering Mr Farah Swaleh Noor on March 20th 2005 at her mother’s flat in Ballybough. Both women are from Kilcare Gardens in Tallaght.

Detective Inspector Christopher Mangan told Mr George Birmingham SC, prosecuting, that he had taken a voluntary statement from Linda Mulhall at her house in Tallaght in August last year.

He said she told him that around mid-March her mother Kathleen, who was dating Mr Noor, rang her sister Charlotte and the two of them went to meet her on O’Connell Street in Dublin city centre. She said her mother and Farah were holding hands and looked very happy.

Farah bought vodka from a shop and her mother bought coke and they drank as they walked around the city before stopping on the Boardwalk where she said her, Charlotte and her mother took ecstasy tablets.

On their way back to her mother’s flat at Richmond Cottages in Ballybough, where the murder is alleged to have taken place, she said her mother and Farah were arguing.

Back at the flat Linda said she was sitting on her sister Charlotte’s lap, listening to a CD when Farah came in and put his arm around her waist.

She said: “He pulled me close to him and said something into my ear I did not understand but I know it was dirty, dirty. It caused me to shiver.” She said he then said something about them being “creatures of the night” and she asked her mother “What does he mean?”

"She said her mother had earlier crushed up an ecstasy tablet and put it into the deceased’s drink as “she wanted Farah to have E as me and Charlie were in good humour'.

"he said Farah was still holding her tightly.

Her mother asked: “What the f*** are you doing?”

She said “Farah kept saying you’re so like your mammy".

In the statement Linda described there being a Stanley blade on the counter. She said Charlotte was telling Farah to get his hands off her and her sister picked up the blade and cut his throat.

She said Farah had been making threatening gestures at her mother, he staggered through the bedroom door and hit his head on a bunk bed. “I picked up a hammer and hit him on the head loads of times, a good few times and Charlotte stabbed him.”

She said when Charlotte told their mother Farah was dead, they were all screaming and her mother shouted “get him out".

She said the deceased was then dragged into the bathroom by the legs where “Me and Charlotte chopped him up. It was Charlotte’s idea".

She said she had been in the shower while her sister sat on a toilet seat. “Charlotte started sawing his legs with the knife.”

She said it was a rugged blade and Charlotte became tired. “The smell was… it wouldn’t go away. I think about it every night,” she told gardaí.

She said she had used a hammer to hit his legs a number of times and they had put towels over his legs to stop the blood gushing out. She said they had taken turns doing both jobs and: “It took us a few hours to do it.”

She also described cutting his penis off and said she had thrown this in the canal along with the rest of the body, which was put into black plastic bags and then sports bags before being thrown into the canal.

She said she had carried the light bits, whilst Charlotte had carried the heavier ones.

“We walked down to the canal a few times, it took a few times,” she said. She had decided not to throw the head in so he would not be identified.

She said the head had been brought by bus to Tallaght where they walked through the Square shopping centre to Tynan Park North. They walked around for ages there, before Charlotte dug a hole with a knife in which to bury the head.

She said her mother had thrown the knives and a hammer into some water nearby. However over the next few days Linda allegedly told gardaí that something kept telling her to go back to the park.

She said she removed the head and put it into a plastic bag, which she hid in bushes. She then used her son’s school bag to transfer the head to another field in Tallaght where she said “kissed the bag and told Farah I was sorry.”

She said she stayed in the field for a long time, drinking a litre bottle of vodka. She hit the head with another hammer she had brought with her to try to break it up and said a prayer before burning the plastic bag and the school bag.

The head and penis of the body have never been found. At the conclusion of her statement, which was read to the court, Det Insp Mangan agreed she had said: “It’s not my fault it happened. I’m sorry. If I could turn back time I would.”

Under cross-examination from Mr Brendan Grehan SC, for Linda Mulhall, Det. Insp. Mangan agreed gardaí had been making limited progress in the case until his client contacted them. He agreed there were many occasions when she had been crying and emotional during the taking of the statements, and that during the course of his dealings with her she seemed a very different person to the kind of person who could be involved in an offence like this.

He said the offence appeared to have had a traumatic effect on her and she had described it as “driving her mental.”

She had since turned to alcohol and had slashed her arms as well as spending over a week in a psychiatric hospital.

Her father John Mulhall had taken his own life just before Christmas last year whilst her mother has since disappeared.

Det Insp Mangan said his inquiries into the background of Mr Noor had shown he was not a Somalian who had witnessed the death of his wife there, but a Kenyan who’s family were still alive.

He had four previous convictions for offences including intoxication, threatening and abusive behaviour and assault.

Two other women had had children by him and both described having being raped by him.

He was also alleged to have assaulted Kathleen Mulhall. The witness said: “From our inquiries we certainly established he would have carried knives on occasions and drunk excessively as well.”

However he had been eliminated as a suspect in a murder case after being found with a knife in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

During the trial yesterday Mr Justice Paul Carney told the jury that Linda Mulhall’s statement was only admissible in relation to her case, and was not admissible as evidence against her sister Charlotte. The trial, before a jury of six men and six women continues tomorrow.

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