Jury to begin deliberations tomorrow in Cork murder trial 

The judge’s charge to the jury will continue on Wednesday and when this is complete the jury will deliberate.
Jury to begin deliberations tomorrow in Cork murder trial 

(Left to right) Helen Jones and Keith O'Hara are both accused of murdering 52-year-old Paul Jones.

THE 10 jurors who have heard all the evidence in the trial of a woman accused of murdering her 52-year-old brother are coming close to the moment when they will retire to commence their deliberations.

They must also consider their verdicts in respect of the woman’s then partner, who is also accused of murder.

Helen Jones, aged 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, aged 43, also of 27 Cahergal Avenue, also pleaded not guilty to the same murder charge.

Paul Jones 
Paul Jones 

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.

Jury of 10 

All parties in the case agreed that the trial could continue in front of a jury of ten when two jurors failed to appear in the first week of the trial.

Mr Justice Michael McGrath addressed the jury on the legal matters and evidential issues which they should consider in their deliberations. The judge’s charge to the jury will continue on Wednesday and when this is complete the jury will deliberate.

In respect of the murder charge against Keith O’Hara they can bring in one of three possible verdicts — guilty, not guilty or thirdly, not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. This latter possibility arises in his case because he raised the defence of acting in self-defence. His co-accused declined to give evidence and simply pleaded not guilty to the murder charge against her.

While Helen Jones did not give any evidence, her co-accused did testify and he blamed her for murder.

At the height of the cross-examination, Brendan Grehan SC for Helen Jones, said to O’Hara, “You go into the witness box – you lie, you lie and lie again to drag Helen Jones down with you.”

Keith O’Hara said, “I did not kill Paul Jones.”

Mr Grehan referred to witnesses hearing Helen Jones shouting stop and he asked O’Hara what that was about and he replied, “Your client murdered her brother. The dogs and the cat and the rat all know Helen killed her brother.”

Mr Grehan asked, “And the fella with the bill-hook, what did he do?”

O’Hara replied, “I did not kill him anyway.”

Evidence from pathologist 

Chief state pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan examined the body of the deceased on September 8 2019 and found that he was a man weighing 19 stone and measuring five feet nine inches.

The pathologist described in detail a chop wound to the head which fractured his skull which may have been caused by a machete or like implement, and also described over 20 stab wounds to the chest, stomach and upper back.

“It is my view that death in this case was due to chop wounds to the head and multiple stab wounds to the trunk and right arm with no contributing factors. 

"The severity of the traumatic injuries was enough to cause death,” Dr Mulligan said.

Tom Creed senior counsel for Keith O’Hara asked Dr Mulligan, “What would the effect of the 25 wounds – absent the chop wound – be?”

The pathologist said that the other injuries, which were between 2cms and 12 cms deep, caused lung collapse, there were two wounds to the chest, four to the abdomen and blood loss from the liver and that, “These wounds would have been fatal as well.”

The pathologist said, “Death probably occurred 30 minutes to an hour within the time of receiving the injuries.”

In her direct evidence the pathologist said four of the stab wounds penetrated the right cavity causing the right lung to collapse, four wounds penetrated the abdominal cavity and kidney and there were also stab wounds to the liver.

She said he had approximately three times the quantity of alcohol in his system as would be allowed for driving.

The pathologist said that she had been told that the deceased had been a daily drinker and that in such a case this level of alcohol might not have the same effect as it would on someone who does not drink frequently.

Dr Mulligan said the deceased who lived alone and was unemployed was on medication for numerous conditions including diabetes, arthritis, blood pressure, anxiety and insomnia and that he was a smoker.

Paul Jones had numerous tattoos including one of hands joined with a rosary beads and the words, “In Memory of Mam and Dad.”

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