Macroom murder trial: Jury hears forensic evidence relating to bloodstains and knife found in cistern

Macroom murder trial: Jury hears forensic evidence relating to bloodstains and knife found in cistern

48-year-old Rita O’Driscoll of Bridge Street, Bandon, denies murdering of 44-year-old Timmy Foley at 12 Dan Corkery Place, Macroom in 2018. 

The jury in the Macroom murder trial will hear their eighth day of evidence on Monday in a case where a man died after being stabbed 28 times and his ex-wife denies murdering him.

Judge Eileen Creedon sent the jury home today after they heard scientific evidence of bloodstains and related matters from three forensic scientists at Forensic Science Ireland who gave evidence by video link from their base in Dublin to the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork.

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.

Dr Sandra McGrath testified that there was evidence from blood analysis in the sitting room of the house at Dan Corkery Place that Timmy Foley was bleeding heavily in the living room and Rita O’Driscoll was also bleeding near the couch.

Dr McGrath said two swabs of blood taken from the cistern of the toilet in the bathroom were linked by DNA analysis to Rita O’Driscoll to a major degree and to Timmy Foley to a minor degree. The analysis suggested Rita O’Driscoll was bleeding heavily while standing at the sink.

The black-handled knife found submerged in the water of the cistern still had blood in a tiny crevice between blade and handle and this blood matched DNA profiles for Rita O’Driscoll and Timmy Foley. 

Dr McGrath said if blood on the knife was wet when it was put into the water of the cistern it could have washed off more easily than if the blood had been dry at the time. Shorter evidence on other forensic matters was also given by Dr Lorna Flanagan and Dr Bríd McBride yesterday.

Earlier in the trial, Jason Foley testified that on the night in question his brother said to him, “‘She have me goosed. She have my stomach f***ed up.” 

Jason Foley added, “He put his hands to his stomach. There was blood on his hands.” 

The defence suggested that Jason Foley intervened to protect Rita and he was the one who was responsible for most of the stab wounds to his brother but Jason Foley said that never happened and that he had no argument with his brother.

Garda witnesses who noted what the accused woman said on the night testified that she said, “He stabbed me seven times before. I relived the moments in the mental hospital. I was afraid of him… I am afraid of him no more. I don’t care if I live or die.” 

Later it was noted that she said, “He couldn’t be dead. I didn’t kill him… Timmy put a knife to my head. I grabbed it, turned it and stuck it in him. It was self-defence. I did not stab him repeatedly.” 

Outside the house when the gardaí were investigating it was noted that Rita O’Driscoll shouted, “‘Get back up and fight for your life. He stabbed me seven times in the past.” 

Lizzy Foley, Timmy’s niece, testified, “I heard her (Rita) 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.” 

 The jury of seven women and five men will return to court on Monday.

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