The lawyer for the woman accused of murdering her brother said her co-accused was “the violent psychopath” who stabbed her brother as she shouted stop.
Keith O’Hara and Helen Jones both deny murdering Paul Jones at his home on Bandon Road, Cork, on September 4, 2019.
Brendan Grehan, senior counsel for Helen Jones, said to Keith O’Hara, “You were the one doing the stabbing. Helen is the one shouting stop.
Keith O’Hara replied, “No.”
Mr Grehan SC said, “But you are bitter now. You are no longer with Helen. You blame Helen.”
Keith O’Hara replied, “She killed her brother. She murdered her brother. She is hiding behind you.”
Mr Grehan asked O’Hara if he was so innocent and so contrite why he didn’t call an ambulance for Paul Jones when he was lying in blood in the hallway of his home. He replied, “I told Helen to bring an ambulance for Paul. She said, no. She said it was a Jones family feud. She said, ‘Fuck Paul, he was only a fat bastard’.”
At this testimony, Mr Grehan asked, “Are you scraping the bottom of the barrel now? You never said that yesterday.
Keith O’Hara replied, “There is only one murderer sitting in this court and that is Helen Jones.” Mr Grehan said, “You thought you might be victim number two and you never saw a knife.” O’Hara replied, “I saw a knife around the corner.”
Mr Grehan said, “This was before you went around the corner. You are the one who had just cleaved a man’s skull open.”
O’Hara said, “She attacked me previously out of the blue for no reason.”
Mr Grehan said, “You are a desperate man who is drowning in evidence and you will pull anyone down with you.”
Tom Creed SC for O’Hara said, “You are barracking the witness, you should ask a question.”
Mr Grehan said, “Mr Creed is right. I withdraw that.”
Keith O’Hara said, “She is trying to take me down with her. She killed her brother. I am the fool who kept his mouth shut.”
Mr Grehan said, “You didn’t keep your mouth shut. You lied to the guards. You lied to the jury about not being familiar with knives and not being a violent man. Do you accept you lied to the jury?”
The accused man replied, “Not intentionally. Innocently.”
Mr Grehan said, “The same way you hit Paul Jones with the bill-hook.”
O’Hara said, “I am sorry for that. I didn’t mean to hurt him.”
Mr Creed asked his client about when he first saw the knife around the corner from 108 Bandon Road. O’Hara said of Helen Jones, “She was cleaning it, wiping it. It looked like one of the knives she slept by in her bedroom.”
O’Hara initially referred to Helen Jones keeping one knife by her bed. He said today, “She had two knives in her drawer. And a hammer for good measure.”
Mr Grehan asked Keith O’Hara about previous assault convictions he had in Cork and from Basildon Crown Court in the UK. O’Hara said he defended himself. Mr Grehan said O’Hara seemed to be this person walking around with fights breaking out around him and that he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
He said, “I had no intention of hurting Paul that night.”
Mr Grehan reacted to this evidence asking, “What does that even mean?”
Mr Grehan said, “You would like the jury to believe you were acting in self-defence.”
O’Hara replied, “Yeah.”
“But he never raised a hand to you,” Mr Grehan said.
O’Hara replied, “After he swung for Helen I believe he would have swung for me.”
Mr Grehan said, “You weren’t going to take the chance – you don’t do that to Keith O’Hara and get away with it.”
O’Hara replied, “Many got away with it.”
Mr Grehan added, “And many did not, as it would appear from your previous.”
Mr Grehan suggested that the accused man had read the book of evidence and got into the witness box to account for the evidence against him and ‘tailor’ his evidence to explain it.
O’Hara replied, “I don’t see your client up here explaining what happened that night. Your client is the murderer, she killed her brother.”
Mr Grehan SC asked O’Hara was he going to keep repeating the same thing? O’Hara said, “Your client murdered her brother.”
Mr Grehan said, “We will let the jury decide that.”
Siobhán Lankford for the prosecution said to O’Hara that he got the name, Helen, tattooed to his neck “because you were deeply committed and you were engaged to be married.”
The defendant said, “We flirted with the idea… I got her a ring.”
Ms Lankford SC said, “When you told Mr Creed the relationship was over by September 10 (2019) that was a lie.”
O’Hara said of the relationship at that stage, “It was all based on sex.”
Ms Lankford said, “Perhaps you took the view the relationship should cease when you were questioned for murder but right up to that you were deeply committed to Helen Jones – you had her name tattooed to your neck 72 hours after the demise of Paul Jones. You want the jury to believe Helen Jones finished off Paul Jones. There were 25 stab wounds to Paul Jones. It was a frenzied attack.”
Ms Lankford then asked O’Hara if it was a frenzied attack by someone? He replied, “Yeah”.
Ms Lankford said at least seven of the stab wounds were 10 cms or four inches in depth and he was present when all that occurred. O’Hara said he did not see the knife inside the house at 108 Bandon Road.
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.
As a result of two jurors failing to appear last week the case continues in front of Mr Justice Michael McGrath and a jury of ten on Monday, December 13.