Brother tells of phone call from his crying sister to Romania
Frightened Marioara Rostas asked brother for ‘Daddy to come get her’
Marioara Rostas’s family, from front: her father Dumitru, brother Alexandru, mother Marioara snr and other family, at the Central Criminal Court yesterday. Photograph: Collins/Courts
A frightened Marioara Rostas phoned her brother in Romania the day after she went missing here asking for her “Daddy to come get her”, a murder trial has heard. Her elder brother, Alexandru Rostas, was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court yesterday in the trial of the man charged with murdering her.
Alan Wilson (35), New Street Gardens, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to her murder at Brabazon Street, The Coombe, on January 7th-8th, 2008. The trial has already heard that her body was found in a shallow grave in Kippure on the Wicklow border in January 2012. She had died of four bullet wounds to her head.
Mr Rostas testified through an interpreter yesterday. He said he still lived in Romania in January 2008, after his parents, sister Marioara (18) and brother had moved to Ireland. He said that on Monday, January 7th, his cousin came running into his house and handed him a phone. Marioara was on the line, he said. He had a short conversation with his sister, during which she told him that she was out of town and to “tell Dad to go after her”.
She said she could see a little sign and started to tell him about some of the letters on it, but the phone cut off before any more details were given. Before the phone died, she repeated to him to “ask for her Daddy to come get her”. She was crying and seemed frightened, he said. He reported the call to his father and to the police in Romania.
Under cross-examination by Michael O’Higgins SC, defending, he said he recalled telling the Romanian police that his sister had said she had 50 cents to talk on the phone.
He agreed that she told him that the boy had dropped her off 200km from Dublin. He agreed that the sign off which his sister had read the letters could have been a street sign. However, he did not agree that he told the police that she said she had been taken from the centre of Dublin by two men.
The victim’s younger brother, Dumitru Rostas jnr, said he was 13 and with his sister in Dublin city centre on the day she went missing. He said he saw her talking to a man, who was in a silver Ford Mondeo, stopped at traffic lights. He said he approached the car when he saw his sister get in and that the man inside spoke to him. “He said he was going to take her to McDonald’s for some food,” recalled her brother. He said the man gave him €10 as the car was driven off.
He later gave a description of this man to gardaí. He identified the photo fit that gardaí had prepared. The jury earlier heard that there was a lock on the outside of a bedroom in the house where Ms Rostas is alleged to have been murdered.
It also heard that bullets recovered from her head could have come from the same weapon as bullets found in the house, which had been the home of the accused man’s sister. The court was hearing evidence from scenes-of-crime examiner and ballistics expert Det Garda Shane Curran, who examined the three-storey house on Brabazon Street on October 31st, 2008.
Det Garda Curran said that much of the house was fire- or smoke-damaged, including a living room on the first floor. There were two holes in the wall here, at a height of five feet, containing badly damaged .22 calibre discharged bullets. They were embedded in wall plaster, he said. He retrieved and examined the bullets and, in his opinion, the damage to them was consistent with them having been discharged “from a lethal firearm at high velocity”.
He said there were two rooms on the top floor, one of which was devoid of furniture apart from a wardrobe. There was a sliding latch carrier, minus the bolt, on the outside of the door to this room. There was a clear accelerant trail here, where somebody had poured it and lit it. The trail continued into the hall.
In 2012, Det Garda Curran compared the bullets from the wall with the bullet fragments recovered during the postmortem on Ms Rostas’s body. He said they were of the same calibre, were similar in appearance and contained the same class characteristics. They were fired from a similar firearm, but due to the damage, he could not say that they were discharged from the same firearm.
Under cross-examination, he said that in his opinion, the two bullets found in the wall had resulted from direct shots at the wall. “They didn’t pass through any intervening medium, they didn’t cause the injuries to Marioara Rostas.”
They could have been discharged from the same firearm used to kill her and at the same time, but he was not in a position to say.
The trial has now gone into legal argument before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and will continue on Thursday.