Taxi driver tells inquest how he inadvertently helped put body in boot
A TAXI driver unwittingly helped a man put a bag containing the body of a student from Malawi into the boot of his car after she was murdered.
An inquest into the death of Rudo Mawere (26) also heard yesterday that CCTV footage obtained by gardaí following her killing in Dublin in January showed her arriving at her boyfriend’s flat on a Saturday afternoon and him leaving the accommodation later that evening dragging a heavy bag.
Her body was found in that bag the following day.
The boyfriend, Jason Dube, admitted to murder before taking his own life, Dublin Coroner’s court was told.
Dube made the admission in a suicide note found by Kent police when his body was found in England three days after the body of Ms Mawere was discovered at St David’s Terrace, Blackhorse Avenue, on January 29th.
Ms Mawere, Leinster Road, Rathmines, had been seeing Dube for several months before her death but her flatmate Charity Namalele said she was unhappy.
”She told me that Jason was telling her lies and she was going to end the relationship,” she said.
Ms Mawere arranged to meet Dube at his flat on Aughrim Street on Saturday, January 28th, so he could return money he owed her. Ms Mawere rang her flatmate at about 3pm that afternoon.
“She said to me, ‘Imagine, he only gave me €50. He is lying to me. All I want is for him to give me my money and then it’s over. I am going to go back to his house and get my money’,” she said.
Ms Mawere’s body was discovered the next day by a resident of St David’s Terrace at about 8.30am. It had been stuffed intact into a suitcase dropped beside a row of bins. She was fully clothed and a black plastic bag had been wrapped around her head.
Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis attended the scene and carried out the postmortem. Ms Mawere had died as a result of strangulation, he said. There were no ligature marks and bruising on the neck indicated that the strangulation had most probably been manual.
Gardaí immediately launched a murder investigation.
As well as the site where Ms Mawere was found, another crime scene was established at Dube’s flat. Garda Sgt Kevin Daly said CCTV footage showed Ms Mawere making her way through town before arriving at the flat at about 3.30pm.
Dube later headed into town where he bought the canvas suitcase bag in which Ms Mawere was found, before returning home. He was then seen leaving the house at about 8.30pm dragging a heavy bag.
Taxi driver Mark Wosser told the court he was flagged down by a man struggling with a bag on Aughrim Street at about that time. He helped the man to lift the bag into the boot of the car and then they drove about 365 metres up the road to Blackhorse Avenue.
“He was acting very normally. He was leaning back into the passenger seat. He seemed very relaxed,” Mr Wosser said.
However, Dube did seem anxious as they lifted the bag from the boot, he added.
Dube was later seen on CCTV catching a bus to Belfast. Gardaí were trying to track him down when he was found dead by Kent Police.
A suicide note was found at the scene. Garda Insp Tim McCarthy said it was to the “effect that he had murdered someone in his flat” but it did not name the victim.
The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing.
Outside the court yesterday, Ms Mawere’s brother-in-law Madloitso Thom said her death had been very traumatic.
“The family was devastated after hearing that their daughter is no more,” he said.
“She came to Ireland to study. She was a cheerful person, she liked to chat and most of all I remember she was a part of our family and used to take care of my children back home in Malawi. I am feeling her absence.”