Accused admitted killing neighbour, garda tells court


A 42-year-old Dublin man accused of murdering a woman neighbour in Co Laois told his arresting garda: “I’m guilty,” his trial heard yesterday.

Jason Daly of PJ Delaney Flats, Main Street, Mountrath, but originally from Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering 30-year-old Kildare neighbour Diane Burroughs in her flat above a butcher’s shop on April 16th, 2011.

Sgt Brendan Fitzgerald told the opening day of the trial that he got a message that evening that the defendant’s sister, Lorraine Daly, wanted to speak to him urgently.

He said that after speaking to Ms Daly, he went to the PJ Delaney Flats in which the accused and the deceased lived in separate apartments.

Sgt Fitzgerald told the Central Criminal Court it was 8.33pm when he went up the stairs to Ms Burroughs’s flat on the first floor.

The sergeant said the door was locked and he was about to kick it in when he heard a person running up the stairs after him.

It was Mr Daly, the sergeant added.

“He said: ‘Brendan. I killed Diane’,” testified Sgt Fitzgerald.

He said that because he was alone, he took Mr Daly downstairs and cautioned him.

“He was crying,” Sgt Fitzgerald recalled. He said the accused told him that he had spent the previous night with Ms Burroughs, had slept with her and had spent that day drinking in the flat.

The sergeant said that when he asked him what time the incident had taken place, he replied: “I don’t f***ing know. I don’t f***ing know.”

Sgt Fitzgerald said that more gardaí arrived and that he and two colleagues went back upstairs and broke down Ms Burroughs’s door.

He went straight into the bedroom.

“She was lying on the bed with her arms outstretched,” he testified.

The jury had already seen photographs of the crime scene, including one of the deceased on the bed.

“There was a pillow covered with blood and a wound on the right side of her neck,” he said.

“I called out her name. There was no response,” Sgt Fitzgerald said.

He explained that he then preserved the scene until a doctor arrived and pronounced Ms Burroughs dead.

The jury had already been told that Ms Burroughs died of strangulation, with the wound to her neck a contributing factor.

Sgt Fitzgerald said he later returned downstairs and arrested Mr Daly on suspicion of her murder and that the accused replied: “I’m guilty”.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Barry White and a jury of nine men and three women.