The motive for the murder of a 52-year-old man at his home in Cork city was a row over the inheritance of a family home, the prosecution alleged at the opening of the case.
The judge and jury was also told that a post-mortem examination of the body of Paul Jones found inside his front door at Bandon Road showed “25 or so stab wounds to his torso and a stab chop-wound to his head.”
The allegations of motive and stab wounds were made by prosecution senior counsel Siobhán Lankford in her opening speech at the trial of Helen Jones for the murder of her brother. Keith O’Hara, who was in a relationship with Jones at the time is also on trial for murder.
Ms Lankford stressed that her outline of the anticipated prosecution evidence was not itself evidence: “It comes with a health warning – I am about to tell you what I think you are going to hear, I may be wrong, I could be very wrong.”
She said nobody saw one fatal blow or blows but that the jury could consider the ‘brick by brick’ evidence from numerous witnesses who would give them ‘bits’ of the picture.
Ms Lankford said, “There was a motive for murder in that there was an ongoing dispute between Helen Jones and her two brothers about 27 Cahergal Avenue – the house where she lived with Keith O’Hara.
“Helen Jones had a right to live there until marriage. Ultimately, there was a court case about the property in 2018. These proceedings had been compromised. Liam and Paul brought the case trying to evict Helen Jones from 27 Cahergal Avenue. It was compromised on the basis that she would vacate and be paid a certain amount out of the sale of the house.
Ms Lankford told the jury they would hear evidence of the two accused being brought from Cahergal Avenue to the home of Paul Jones at around 9.30 p.m. on September 4 2019 by taxi. She said they would hear from a witness who described seeing Helen Jones banging on the door at 108 Bandon Road with the handle of a knife.
Helen Jones, 54, of 27 Cahergal Avenue, Mayfield, Cork, pleaded not guilty to the charge of murdering Paul Jones – her 52-year-old brother at his home - on September 4 2019 at 108 Bandon Road, Cork.
Her co-accused Keith O’Hara, 43, also of 27 Cahergal Avenue, also pleaded not guilty to the same murder charge.
Each defendant is additionally charged with a different count related to alleged trespass at the same time and place. Helen Jones is charged with trespass to cause serious harm while carrying a knife. Keith O’Hara is charged with trespassing to commit serious harm. The defendants also pleaded not guilty to these charges.