The man accused of killing a 54-year-old loan company agent was a “Walter Mitty” a murder trial jury heard today.
Dan Doyle, a close neighbour of Samuel Jennings (aged 61) described Jennings exaggeration of the truth. “He delighted in telling stories about his life. I think within time you would learn to take them with a grain of salt.”
Mr Doyle was giving evidence on the fifth day of the trial of Samuel Jennings, formerly of Ashtown, Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford who denies murdering Mary “Mamie” Walsh of Glendalligan, Killrossanty, Co Waterford on a date unknown between August 30th 2004 and September 1st 2004.
Mrs Walsh was noticed missing when she failed to lodge money she had collected on August 30th. Her body was found tied up in the boot of her car in Waterford City on August 31st. She had severe head wounds.
Jennings and his wife Chantelle had moved into a rented house a few houses away from Mr Doyle in February 2004. Mr Doyle told the jury that he had a friendly relationship with Jennings, looking after a key to the house and sometimes met him socially.
He described how, on August 28th 2004 he had used his credit card to pay for plane tickets to Holland since Jennings did not have an Irish credit card. Jennings had promised to repay the money in the next couple of days.
Mr Noel Kirwan, Jennings’ landlord told the court that he had been very impressed by Jennings when he first approached him about renting the house. Jennings introduced himself as Dr Samuel Jennings and told him that sold a landscape gardening business in Scotland.
Mr Kirwan told the court of his surprise when Jennings helped him to lay a lawn and did not appear to know what he was doing. The court heard that he identified a weed as a shrub.
Mr Kirwan went on to tell the court that Jennings had owed him three months rent. He told Mr Kirwan that the bank had lodged the missing lodgements into the wrong account. On August 30th Jennings paid €2,400 in cash to Mr Kirwan’s account.
The court had previously heard that Jennings had travelled to Mullingar where his wife was working as a civil engineer. While there he told his wife he had received a phonecall to say that his son had been in a fight and was in a serious condition in a dutch hospital. He said he had to be in Dublin Airport for 3pm that day.
The jury heard that Jennings called into the Dublin Tourism Office on O’ Connell Street in Dublin at around 4pm on August 30th. He booked one night’ s accommodation in the Comfort Inn on Parnell Street under the name John Kingsley with an address in Burrow View, Co Cork.
On September 1st the jury heard that Jennings was in Kilkenny Travel in Kilkenny to book a ferry from Rosslare to Roscoff. Later that day he booked into a guesthouse in Rosslare once again as Dr Samuel Jennings saying that he was a teacher of physics, chemistry and maths.
The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Barry White and the jury.