A 38-YEAR-old woman was beaten to death by a man with whom she had been drinking in a flat over a shop in Cork, it was alleged yesterday as his trial by judge and jury commenced.
Prosecution senior counsel, Tom Creed, made his opening address to Ms Justice Eileen Creed and the jury of nine men and three women at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork. Mr Creed stressed that what he was telling the jury was an outline of the anticipated evidence and was not itself evidence. He said the accused was presumed to be not guilty.
Cathal O’Sullivan, aged 45, who is originally from Charleville, pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering Nicola Collins on March 27, 2017, at a flat at 6A Popham’s Road, Farranree, over the Gala store. The late Ms Collins was a native of St Brendan’s Park in Tralee, but had been living at Clashduv Road in the Togher area of Cork for a number of years.
Mr Creed said in his opening speech: “Effectively, the prosecution case is that he beat Nicola Collins to death. She did not leave the premises after 11.24am on March 24. No one else was seen entering or leaving the premises. There were only two people in that apartment — Nicola Collins and Cathal O’Sullivan.
“At 3.09am on the morning of March 27, he (the defendant) contacted emergency services. You will hear that phone call. It will be apparent that an amount of drink was consumed over the course of a few days by both parties.
“The fire brigade and ambulance arrived. The fire brigade was flagged down by the accused. There were five or six of them (emergency service personnel at the scene shortly after the call). She was completely naked, her legs up on the bed, her back on the floor.
“They commenced CPR. You will hear she had obvious bruising to arms and stomach. In the bathroom, there were bloodstained clothes. The deceased was unresponsive to CPR. They kept trying to revive her for 20 minutes with electric shock and everything. After that, they were satisfied she was dead.
“You will hear various members of the emergency services and gardaí had conversations with the accused. You will hear the marks on the deceased were on her since she arrived at the property.
“Garda Brian Desmond had conversations with the accused. Sergeant James Buckley (also spoke to him). She (the deceased) arrived on the Thursday. There was a lot of drink. There was an altercation and Mr O’Sullivan said she got stuck into him, that she tried to hit him. He dodged the digs. Certain marks on her were from him such as the black eye was from him. He phoned Mathew Twomey (a friend) at 1.33am — a 32-minute phone call. At 2.16am he rang him again. He (the defendant) did not ring emergency services until 3.09am.”
Mr Creed said they would hear from Dr Margaret Bolster, pathologist, who found the deceased had a broken jawbone, multiple facial and scalp bruises and swelling of the brain and concluded that the late Ms Collins suffered extensive blunt force trauma in keeping with multiple blows to the head.
The trial continues.