Judge sentences four people, including husband, in grandmother Patricia O'Connor's murder case

Justice Paul McDermott said the reaction of those present in the house following the murder of Ms O'Connor was "dreadful" and the impact of what happened to her has been "devastating and heartbreaking" for her siblings, her son Richard and her friends and former colleagues.
Judge sentences four people, including husband, in grandmother Patricia O'Connor's murder case
76-year-old Augustine O'Connor from Mill Close Glasheen, Stamullen, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to impeding the apprehension or prosecution of his wife's murderer just before his trial was due to begin. Photo: Collins Courts

Three people who helped to cover up the murder of grandmother Patricia O'Connor have received prison sentences totalling seven years.

Justice Paul McDermott said the reaction of those present in the house following the murder of Ms O'Connor was "dreadful" and the impact of what happened to her has been "devastating and heartbreaking" for her siblings, her son Richard and her friends and former colleagues.

The victim was, the judge said, "a person who had a life and a future until it was ended by Kieran Greene."

Mr Justice McDermott today sentenced the deceased's granddaughter Stephanie O'Connor (aged 22) to two years in prison with the final six months suspended.

Mother-of-five Louise O'Connor (aged 41) was sentenced to three years with the final six months suspended while family friend Keith Johnston (aged 43) of Avonbeg Gardens, Tallaght, Dublin 24, was sentenced to three years.

The trial heard evidence that Stephanie of Millmount Court, Dundrum Road, Dublin 14 engaged in a "ruse" whereby she dressed as her grandmother to make it seem as if she stormed out of the house and left on the day of the murder.

The jury accepted the State’s case that her mother Louise O'Connor of the same address had agreed to or acquiesced in her daughter Stephanie disguising herself as Mrs O’Connor in order to conceal the fact that she was dead.

The court heard that Johnston bought tools that were to be used in what Justice McDermott termed the "grotesque" dismemberment of Ms O'Connor, whose remains were found scattered across the Dublin and Wicklow mountains.

All three were found guilty of impeding the apprehension or prosecution of Kieran Greene (aged 35) who was sentenced to life imprisonment earlier this week for murdering the retired grandmother in the bathroom of her Rathfarnham home on May 29, 2017.

The deceased's husband Augustine 'Gus' O'Connor was earlier today sentenced to 18 months for reporting his wife as a missing person when he knew she was already dead.

Sentencing him today, Mr Justice Paul McDermott at the Central Criminal Court said it was "appalling" that on hearing his wife had been murdered by Kieran Greene in his home, O'Connor suggested calling emergency services but when that was rejected did nothing about it and went to bed.

His actions in later reporting his wife as a missing person knowing she had been murdered was a betrayal of his wife and his son, he said.

The 76-year-old from Mill Close Glasheen, Stamullen, Co Meath pleaded guilty to impeding the apprehension or prosecution of his wife's murderer just before his trial was due to begin.

The judge set a headline sentence of three years but took into account O'Connor's late plea of guilty, expression of remorse, that he has led a blameless life up to this and has no previous convictions. He, therefore, fixed a sentence of 18 months.

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