The trial of two Lithuanian men charged with murdering a mother-of-two in Wexford last year has today heard that two apparently bloodstained golf clubs were found at the alleged murder scene.
The jury was hearing from fingerprint and crime-scene examiner Detective Garda Cathal Hannigan on the third day of the trial at the Central Criminal Court.
Ruslanas Mineikas (aged 26) and Ricardas Dilys (aged 28) of Goodtide Harbour and formerly of Davitt Road South, both in Wexford town, have pleaded not guilty to murdering 30-year-old Rebecca French on October 9, 2009 in a house in Ard Na Dara, Clonard.
Fire fighters found Ms French’s body that afternoon as they quenched a blaze in her car about two kilometres away. She had died of blunt force trauma to the head.
D Gda Hannigan and his colleagues spent four days examining the house in Ard Na Dara, where the two defendants were arrested shortly after the discovery of Ms French’s body. He took a number of finger and palm print lifts as well as several items including two golf clubs: a four-iron and an eight-iron.
“They had the appearance of what I believed to be blood on them and were in an umbrella stand in the living room,” he explained from the witness box.
He also seized a hammer, two petrol containers, a lighter fluid tin, four aerosol cans, four mobile phones, a large number of beer cans and several other potential exhibits.
Conor Devally SC, defending Mr Mineikas, asked him why he took the canister of lighter fluid and four aerosol cans.
“I was aware that items were burnt in the fireplace and this was on the mantel piece,” he said, adding that it had been intimated to him that deodorant cans many have been used as part of an assault.
“The black-handled hammer was on a TV cabinet in the living room,” he explained to Michael Delaney SC, defending Mr Dilys. “It just seemed out of place.”
The trial continues tomorrow morning before Mr Justice Barry White and a jury of seven men and five women.