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Man found guilty of murdering homeless man whose body was found at bottom of a chute

A man has been found guilty of the murder of a frail vulnerable user of homeless services who suffered a "gruesome death" after he was thrown down the chute of an apartment.

A maintenance worker who went to an apartment complex to unblock a chute instead found the remains of a deceased man, a murder trial sitting in Cork had heard.

David O’Loughlin (aged 31) of Garden City Apartments, North Main Street, Cork, had denied the murder of 59-year-old Liam Manley at the same complex on May 12, 2013.

In outlining the case for the prosecution at a Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork, Patrick McGrath SC, said that Mr Manley was thrown down the chute of the apartment complex by Mr O’Loughlin.

It is was alleged that Mr O’Loughlin said to another man that the accused was “down the drain”.

Mr Manley, who was a user of services of the Simon Community, died of mechanical asphyxia arising out of being caught in a waste chute.

A maintenance man tried to unblock the chute on May 14, 2013. He said that initially he thought the red liquid he encountered in the chute was sauce. He then realised it was blood and found the remains of Mr Manley.

His initial attempt to unblock the chute had been unsuccessful. He used rods and got a “terrible shock” and “panicked” when he found the deceased.

Although in the region of just 24 -36 hours had passed between the death of Mr Manley and the recovery of his body his remains were in an advanced stage of decomposition.

The jury also heard evidence from an acquaintance of the accused called David O’Mahony.

His evidence was that Mr Manley was in the apartment of the accused in Garden City complex in Cork on the morning of May 13.

He said Mr O’Loughlin began to verbally abuse Mr Manley and punched him in the face before he dragged him out the door.

Mr O’Mahony said that he stayed in the apartment and heard the sound of a steel door shutting.

He testified when Mr O’Loughlin came back he said Mr Manley was “down the drain”. Mr O’Mahony testified that he did not believe the words of David O’Loughlin.

The State case was that Mr Manley, who was five foot two inches tall and of a “slight frame” was thrown down the chute by Mr O’Loughlin some time between 6am and 8.15am on May 13, 2013.

The two-week trial involved CCTV, forensic evidence from the chute, and forensic evidence from blood found on the sofa of the apartment.

The case involved a steel cylindrical chute which went from the top to the bottom of the building. It goes into a large rubbish bin and is used by the various apartments.

Mr Manley was originally from Bakers Road in Gurranabraher in Cork city.

A jury of seven women and five men took just over two hours to reach their verdict. The case will proceed to sentence this afternoon.