Murder accused told gardaí it wouldn't do victim's family 'any good to know' what happened

When gardaí put it to Trevor Rowe that what happened to 71-year-old Ann Butler was not "a nice thing", the accused replied: "It's not; it's disgusting, it's horrible, it's inhumane".
Murder accused told gardaí it wouldn't do victim's family 'any good to know' what happened

Alison O'Riordan

A man accused of murdering a pensioner in her own home told gardaí that he could not tell them what had happened, adding that: "It wouldn't do her family any good to know. I can't even close my f**king eyes with the nightmare I see."

Trevor Rowe also told officers that he had made anonymous phone calls to gardaí because he just wanted "the woman found" and was ashamed of what he had done, his Central Criminal Court trial has heard.

When gardaí put it to Trevor Rowe that what happened to 71-year-old Ann Butler was not "a nice thing", the accused replied: "It's not; it's disgusting, it's horrible, it's inhumane".

Mr Rowe (29), with an address at Abbey Street, Kilkenny has pleaded not guilty to murdering 71-year-old Ms Butler at her home at Maudlin Street, Kilkenny on March 20th, 2020.

The trial has heard that Mr Rowe told a detective that he had committed "five other murders", was working for the Kinahan Cartel and received €5,500 "for doing a murder".

I killed a woman. I murdered a woman.

When gardaí called to the defendant's home, the 29-year-old fell to his knees, cried uncontrollably and said: "I killed a woman. I murdered a woman. I slit her throat and stuck a knife in her head".

Last Friday, a garda witness told the trial that Mr Rowe could be seen on CCTV footage walking in the direction of Ms Butler's house on the night she was killed.

Member-in-charge Garda Colm McMenamin testified on Tuesday that Mr Rowe was arrested on suspicion of murdering Ms Butler at 7.38pm on March 25th. The garda told the court that at one stage, while he was sitting on his bunk in the cell and shaking his head, the accused said: "What the f**k have I done, it's only hitting home now".

The next witness, Detective Sergeant Brian Sheeran, told Garrett McCormack BL, prosecuting, that the first interview took place with Mr Rowe in Kilkenny Garda Station on March 26th, when the accused said he "just wanted the woman found".

When gardaí asked the defendant why that was, Mr Rowe said: "Because I wanted the woman found, she is found now, that is good enough for me. I'm happy with that".

Methadone

The defendant said he takes 90 mgs of methadone every day and agreed that it was keeping him away from "the gear" but he would have the "odd slip". "Listen, you don't know what it's like to be sick on drugs," he added.

Mr Rowe said he did not remember being arrested the previous night.

When gardaí put it to him that he had something on his mind, that he had told gardaí what he did and then took gardai to the deceased's house. The accused said: "I don't even remember that, I took you to the house?"

When asked why he had rang 999, the accused said "cause I wanted her found".

Gardaí asked Mr Rowe why he felt the need to do this and he replied "cause I needed to".

"How will it be better for me, I will be sitting behind bars for the rest of my life," said Mr Rowe.

Drunk

Referring to the night of March 20th, Mr Rowe said it was the first time he had drunk in four years. "I took 40 D5's [Diazepam] and cans of Budweiser," he said, adding that he had taken them before the incident on Maudlin Street.

When asked if he knew Ms Butler, the accused said he had never seen her in his life.

"Did you know she was there?" asked gardai. "I didn't," replied the accused.

When asked if there was a reason he "picked on" Ms Butler or did he have a history with her, the defendant nodded "No". He said he had never been in the house before March 20th and would usually never go across "that side" and "stays this side".

At one stage, Mr Rowe said he would put his head through the window if he did not get out of the interview room.

Garda told the accused that Ms Butler's family were entitled to know what happened to her as he had come forward, held his hand out and asked to be heard. "She has closure as she has been found," he replied.

In his second interview on March 26th at 3.24pm, the accused said the drugs affected his memory, that he does "a bit of crack" and he just felt "so bad" for Ms Butler.

When gardaí asked him to tell them the truth of what "went on" in the house, Mr Rowe said: "I can't please". "I can't, I just can't," he continued.

Det Sgt Sheeran agreed with Mr McCormack that the accused had put his head between his knees at this stage and began crying.

Asked if he did anything sexual to Ms Butler, he said "no not like that". "I can't, I can't. I just want you to know that I didn't do anything sexual to her," he insisted.

When asked again what happened in the house, Mr Rowe said: "I can't. It wouldn't do her family any good to know. I can't even close my f**king eyes with the nightmare I see".

Detective Sergeant James O'Brien has told the trial he saw that the body of Ms Butler had lacerations to the neck, an injury to the head and her left ear appeared to be missing when he entered her home.

The jury has also heard that murder accused Mr Rowe told gardai: "I thought it was going to be an easy touch, what have I done."

The trial continues on Wednesday before Ms Justice Karen O'Connor and a jury of seven men and five women.

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