A deputy state pathologist has told the trial of a FÁS worker accused of murdering a woman in Co Clare two years ago that the cause of death was manual strangulation.
Colm Deely (aged 41) of School Road in Ballyvaughan has pleaded not guilty to murdering Deirdre McCarthy (aged 43), between 11pm on March 27, 2011 and noon the following day.
The Central Criminal Court has heard Ms McCarthy’s body was found on Fanore Beach on March 31.
The court heard Ms McCarthy, who worked in a B&B in Ballyvaughan was a friend of Mr Deely's and that he had known her for up to 20 years.
Today, Dr Khalid Jabbar told Mr Paul Greene SC prosecuting that the cause of death was manual strangulation.
The pathologist said blunt force trauma to the head, trunk and extremities was a contributing factor.
Dr Jabbar said that he was struck by the absence of eyes when he examined the deceased’s body and said it could not be attributed to the acts of birds or marine life.
Mr Martin Giblin SC defending said that another pathologist who is due to give evidence would disagree with Dr Jabbar’s conclusion.
Under cross-examination Dr Jabbar agreed with Mr Giblin that he did not visit the scene of where the body was found as the post mortem was conducted in Limerick.
He also agreed that a body in tidal water would move around a lot and come into contact with objects and sand.
Dr Jabbar also accepted that no blood was found at the deceased’s home or in Mr Deely’s cars, which had been technically examined.
He also agreed that there was no evidence of sexual assault but said that such an event would not always carry a physical manifestation.
Dr Jabbar said he was forced to entertain the possibility that the eyes were gouged out and that it was the act of a human perpetrator.
“You are aware there are some birds that go for the eyes straight away,” Mr Giblin put it to the pathologist.
Dr Jabbar replied that he found it difficult to accept that it was the act of birds.
Mr Giblin told the pathologist he was “acting as an advocate” and not as a scientist.
“You’re committed to a point of view and will not listen to reasoned argument”, said Mr Giblin.
The trial continues before a jury of seven women and five men with Mr Justice Barry White presiding.