A jury at the Central Criminal Court has heard that the 22-year-old man charged with the murder of teenager Cameron Reilly had oral sex with Mr Reilly on the night he was killed.
Counsel for the defence, Michael Bowman SC made a proof by formal admission to the court on Wednesday on behalf of Aaron Connolly (22), of Willistown, Drumcar, Co Louth.
Mr Bowman said that there had been sexual contact between Mr Connolly and Mr Reilly on the night of the murder. He said Mr Connolly performed oral sex on Mr Reilly and when he left, Mr Reilly was still alive and standing up.
Mr Connolly has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Cameron Reilly (18) at Shamrock Hill, Dunleer on May 26th, 2018.
The court today heard evidence from forensic scientist Dr Clara Boland, who told counsel for the prosecution Dean Kelly SC that an immunological test on a penile swab of Mr Reilly revealed human saliva that was a mixture of two people, the major sample being Mr Reilly’s own and the minor being an incomplete profile that matched Mr Connolly’s DNA.
Dr Boland said that DNA profiling on Mr Reilly’s neck showed a mixed DNA sample of two people, the major sample being Mr Reilly’s own and a minor incomplete sample that matched Mr Connolly’s DNA.
Dr Boland said that a once wet blood stain on the left shoulder of Mr Reilly’s t-shirt matched Mr Reilly’s DNA, as did a small blood stain on the outside left pocket of his hooded top.
She said that an examination of the inside front of the tracksuit bottoms worn by Mr Connolly showed a mixed DNA sample of Mr Reilly and Mr Connolly. The witness also said that the DNA of Mr Reilly and Mr Connolly was present on the hooded top and outer tracksuit bottoms of Mr Connolly.
Dr Boland also said she examined an anonymous letter that the gardaí received during their investigations. She said that female DNA was obtained from this anonymous letter, but this did not match anyone known to the investigation or anyone on the DNA database.
Mr Kelly asked Dr Boland about her original expert hypothesis that the DNA evidence suggested that Mr Connolly had either asphyxiated Mr Reilly or put his arm around him for a photograph. He asked her what comment she could now make in the wake of the admissions by the defence concerning Mr Connolly’s sexual act on Mr Reilly.
“During social contact situations, DNA can be transferred between people. A full DNA profile being left on clothing is more consistent with close contact,” said Dr Boland.
Mr Kelly asked the witness to offer her view on the hypothesis put forward by the defence that Mr Connolly gave Mr Reilly oral sex and placed his arms around Mr Reilly’s waist.
Dr Boland replied that she could not evaluate this in the witness box and would need to look at the scientific evidence.
She said that the sample showing saliva on the penile swab and Mr Connolly’s DNA on Mr Reilly’s neck could occur during close sexual contact.
“To get DNA onto clothing generally requires more prolonged physical contact. The amount of DNA and proportion of DNA is consistent with skin contact rather than clothing contact,” she said.
In cross-examination, Mr Bowman said that the DNA of Mr Reilly found inside Mr Connolly’s pants could be explained by Mr Reilly reaching into Mr Connolly’s pants.
Dr Boland agreed that this could explain it. She further confirmed that no blood from Mr Reilly was found on Mr Connolly.
At the start of the trial, Mr Kelly said it is the prosecution’s case that Mr Reilly went to a field with Mr Connolly and at a point between 12.40am and 1.40am on May 26th, 2018 Mr Connolly caused the injuries and that he intentionally brought about the death of Mr Reilly.
He told the jury there could be no doubt that Mr Reilly was alive just before 1am and that he subsequently died violently. It was for them to decide whether or not Mr Connolly did it.
The trial has heard that, in a witness statement to gardaí, Mr Connolly said that he and Mr Reilly went in separate directions at the end of the night and that after the pair parted, he “never looked back” to see which way Cameron went.
The trial continues on Thursday before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and the jury of seven women and five men.