THE Cork woman on trial for murdering her ex-husband made several threats to kill him including one where she threatened to pour petrol over him and set him alight, the deceased man’s niece testified today.
Rita O’Driscoll’s defence senior counsel Roderick O’Hanlon put it to the witness that this was just “Rita being Rita” and that the niece did not expect anything to come of it. Niece, Lizzy Foley, agreed with this suggestion.
48-year-old Rita O’Driscoll of Bridge Street, Bandon, County Cork, denies murdering of 44-year-old Timmy Foley at 12 Dan Corkery Place, Macroom, County Cork, on October 8, 2018 and a charge of assault causing serious harm to the deceased man’s brother, Jason Foley.
Lizzy Foley, Timmy’s niece, testified yesterday that she heard Rita threatening to kill Timmy several times, over the phone. Lizzy said she was friends with Timmy and Rita’s son, Mike.
“I heard her say on several occasions, she threatened to kill him – ‘I am going to come down and kill you’, ‘I am going to pour petrol over you and set you on fire’. I just thought it was general Rita. I didn’t think she was going to follow up on any of her threats. She made them so often it just seemed normal for her to do that,” Lizzy Foley said yesterday at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork.
The witness said she heard the accused woman say, “If I can’t have him no one will.”
About five weeks before the incident at the centre of the murder trial, Lizzy was with Mike and they met Rita in Bandon with a bag of alcohol.
“She said she was going to Macroom, over to Jason’s and Timmy. She said she shoplifted the alcohol she was bringing over to them. Mike said he didn’t want her there. She did not care, she was going over – ‘I’m a middle-aged woman, I can do whatever I want’.
“She used to call (Jason) a handicap because of his brain injury. She said he keeps sticking his hose into her and Timmy’s business,” Lizzy Foley testified.
Detective Garda Mike Thompson gave evidence of texts sent from Timmy’s and from Rita’s phones in the week before October 8. The jury was told that this showed the phones used to send the texts and could not show who sent them.
From Timmy’s phone to Rita’s phone, the following texts were retrieved: ‘U R a sick. Let go yeah’; ‘I love Sara and love f***ing her. She is my life’; ‘F*** you and let it be yah’; and ‘Don’t ever agand ring me yeah’.
From Rita’s phone to Timmy’s phone, the retrieved texts included the following: ‘So much I will take but wait until I start’; ‘Look Timmy I don’t want no arguing. I am happy to be your friend. I will always be there if you need a listening ear’; ‘Look Timmy you have a good heart. All I want is for you to be happy’; ‘…Follow your heart. I don’t hold any grudges. I want the best only for you. Good f***ing luck to ye’; ‘I don’t care. Go with who you want. I hope you treat her better than the way you treated me’; and ‘Don’t ever take me for a fool’.
From Rita’s phone to Sara Hussey’s phone the retrieved texts included the following: ‘Take a warning. Stay away from my husband and stop contacting him. If you don’t you are going to be sliced. And I know where you are and I’m not worried about guards’; ‘On my dead mother I will do life. I am a traveller girl. Just wait and see’; ‘I have a lot of contacts in every corner. You will get it girl. So get out of the country’; ‘Why go for a married man; ‘I am telling you take heed and get a single man’; ‘You are dead when I get a hold of you. I won’t pull it out, street walker. On my way to Macroom now. And listen, I don’t care about guards’.
The trial continues tomorrow before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of seven women and five men.