Kearney death scene looked 'sinister', garda tells court

The garda in charge of the investigation into the death of Siobhan Kearney decided the situation looked sinister on the day of her death a Central Criminal Court jury has heard.

The garda in charge of the investigation into the death of Siobhan Kearney decided the situation looked sinister on the day of her death a Central Criminal Court jury has heard.

Brian Kearney (aged 50) with an address at Carnroe, Knocknashee, Goatstown, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Siobhan (aged 38) on February 28, 2006 - his 49th birthday.

Detective Inspector Martin Cummins told prosecuting counsel Mr Dominic McGinn BL, he was told on arrival at Carnroe that he was dealing with a suicide and ordered a photographer to attend the scene to aid an eventual inquest.

"However, having made certain observations and heard certain things I decided that the situation was a lot more sinister," he said.

Det Ins Cummins said that he spoke to Mr Kearney in a back bedroom after he had identified his wife from the doorway of the bedroom.

He said Mr Kearney told him he and his wife had been sleeping in separate rooms for some time. He said on the morning of her death he had tried the door to her room and found it locked.

"Then he banged on the door and said 'I'm off, [our son's] downstairs."

Det Ins Cummins said that he decided not to allow Mr Kearney to take a change of clothes and at around 11.30pm, went to his parents' house to collect the clothes he had been wearing that day.

He was given the clothes by Mr Kearney's mother "who said she had washed them because they were sweaty or soiled".

The jury also heard from members of the technical team who examined the scene. Detective Garda Christopher O'Connor told Mr McGinn that he had examined the scene for fingerprints.

He said he did not find any finger or palm prints on the flex of the Dyson vacuum cleaner, found wrapped around the deceased woman, although he said that given the size of the cable this was not unexpected.

He also examined two glasses found in the bedroom, one found beside the bed and another found on the dressing table. Det Gda O'Connor said the glass by the bed contained Mrs Kearney's fingerprints while the one from the dressing table contained prints from both Mr and Mrs Kearney.

He also found prints from both Mr and Mrs Kearney on photographs found scattered on the floor inside the bedroom doorway. The prints were found on two separate photographs.

Detective Garda Jeanette O'Neill told Mr McGinn that she had organised for a large number of items to be taken out of the house for investigation including the contents of the safe in the bedroom and financial records.

She examined the bedroom and seized any objects that could have been used in a hanging. She also examined the wardrobe to see if it could have been used for this purpose but could not find any signs of weight being applied to the clothing racks.

The trial continues on tomorrow before Mr Justice White and the jury of eight women and four men.

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