A 37-year-old Cork mother of three has been sentenced to life in prison for murder for a second time this year.
Kinsale native Catherine O'Connor pleaded guilty to murdering her 42-year-old neighbour, John Forrester, at the Central Criminal Court yesterday.
O’Connor of Bridge House, Seán Hales Place, Bandon, murdered the English father of four in Bridge House on November 12th, 2011. They each occupied a flat in the house.
Detective Sergeant Fergal Foley told the court that the Garda investigation into another murder led to an investigation into Mr Forrester’s murder, and the discovery of his body on November 15th that year.
The body of the boat-maker was found in the River Bandon a mile and a half east of the town. It was tied up in cable wire and wrapped in carpet; his feet were tied with the belt from the cardigan O’Connor had been wearing on the 12th, he said.
He said Mr Forrester died of blunt force trauma and asphyxia: his hyoid bone had been broken and there was bruising to his throat. He also had a fractured skull, several broken ribs, a broken hip and lacerations to his head and mouth.
He said that a technical examination of the victim’s flat showed that blood had been mopped up.
However, O’Connor’s fingerprint was found in Mr Forrester’s blood on a broken cup. It was established that the jagged edge of this cup and a broken plate had caused head and face injuries to Mr Forrester.
In O’Connor’s flat, her grey cardigan was missing the belt discovered around the victim’s feet. Mr Forrester’s blood was also found on a mobile phone in her flat.
Det Gda Foley said that O’Connor was arrested on suspicion of the murder on January 28th, 2012 and had been in custody since.
He said O’Connor had known her victim several years earlier when she lived rough in Cork city. She had addiction problems and had come to Bandon from rehab. She lived with Mr Forrester in his flat for six weeks before moving upstairs to another flat.
The detective said she had 55 previous convictions, the most significant dating from July last, when she was found guilty of murdering Jonathan Dukeon November 13th, 2011.