Santina Cawley murder trial: Accused repeatedly denied murder during garda interview 

Brendan Grehan defence senior counsel said, “She does not have a history of violence.” 
Santina Cawley murder trial: Accused repeatedly denied murder during garda interview 

38-year-old Karen Harrington of Lakelands Crescent, Mahon, Cork, denies the murder of Santina Cawley at Elderwood Park, Boreenamanna Road, on July 5, 2019. Picture: Dan Lenihan. 

Karen Harrington’s lawyer said today in her trial for murdering two-year-old Santina Cawley that she accepted the evidence pointed mainly to her but she did not budge from her position that she did not murder the child.

Brendan Grehan defence senior counsel said, “She does not have a history of violence.” 

Inspector Dave Callaghan agreed.

38-year-old Karen Harrington of Lakelands Crescent, Mahon, Cork, denies the murder of Santina Cawley at Elderwood Park, Boreenamanna Road, on July 5, 2019.

Mr Grehan SC cross-examined the inspector about the strategies used by gardaí in their five interviews with Karen Harrington. 

In particular, he asked about the fifth interview where she was questioned about earlier information she had given – in the light of other evidence gardaí had gathered since the early interviews.

Mr Grehan said, “It seems to be the case that Karen Harrington – despite the strategies – her position did not change. 

And she denies that she recalled the injuries Santina suffered.” 

Inspector Callaghan said, “Some further information came to light (in the fifth interview) that was not given in the previous four… It does elicit new information.”

Mr Grehan agreed: “Without a doubt. But her fundamental position did not change. She outlined she did not remember. 

"She could not harm anyone, never mind a child or baby and she did not injure Santina.

“She acknowledged the evidence was pointing mainly at her but she did not budge from her position.” 

Interview shown to jury 

A DVD of interview 5 was played to the jury today, catching every word spoken during the interview. The opening question from Detective Garda David Noonan was a long scene-setting statement:

“Santina Cawley was murdered – murdered at 26 Elderwood Park – your address. We are talking about your address. A two-year-old child. Defenceless, yeah?”

Karen Harrington replied, “Yeah.” 

The detective said, “In here I cannot lie to you. I can only tell you the truth. This is a large investigation with many detectives who have been getting CCTV, getting witness statements, we have had technical aspects, we have had some analysis, of the murder of Santina Cawley – a two-year-old defenceless child at your address.

“You have told us in your own words who was at that address at that time – you were there.” 

During the interview, the accused repeatedly denied murder.

The trial continues.

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