Accused had bloodshot eyes and scratches on night of murder, trial hears

Jimmy Devaney denies murdering Marie Greene in Co Westmeath

The trial of a retired member of the defence forces has heard he had bloodshot eyes and scratches on his hands on the night he is accused of murdering a woman in Co Westmeath.

Jimmy Devaney (66) of Millbrook Avenue, Monksland, Athlone has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Marie Greene in Westmeath on February 13th, 2011.

The prosecution alleges Mr Devaney stabbed Ms Greene six times because she was blackmailing him that she would tell his wife he was a client.

The court has heard the body of Ms Greene, who was working as a prostitute, was found in a bog near Ballykieran outside Athlone nine days later.

It has also heard that the accused was playing cards in the Lighthouse Casino in Custume Place in the town that night.

Fergus Joseph Kenny gave evidence that he ran the tournaments in the casino and arrived at about 8pm.

He said Mr Devaney, who had been in the casino earlier that night before leaving, came back at about 9pm.

“He was flustered at the time, I assumed at the time he was flustered because he was late,” said Mr Kenny.

He told Alex Owens SC prosecuting there were cuts on Mr Devaney’s knuckles and his shirt was torn.

Mr Kenny said he asked the accused what happened to his hand.

“He replied by saying ‘I had to give a lad a tow’,” Mr Kenny told the court.

He said Mr Devaney told him he got the scratches because he fell in a ditch when he was getting out of the car.

Mr Kenny told the court Mr Devaney was getting very agitated and very aggressive. He said the card dealer noticed his eye was bloodshot before the other people present saw that also.

He told the court Mr Devaney made it to the final table and finished 6th or 7th that night.

Ray Murphy gave evidence he was present at the poker game in the Lighthouse Casino at 8.15pm and tournament started at 9pm.

He said Mr Devaney arrived in at 9pm and there was a comment made about his shirt being torn and blood on his sleeve.

He said he spoke to the accused at the break, noticing his eyes were bloodshot. Mr Devaney told him it happened at football that day, he said.

There was a spot of blood on his shirt and Mr Devaney tried to wipe it off, Mr Murphy told the court.

Under cross-examination, he agreed with Giollaiosa O’ Lideadha SC, defending, that in his statement he told gardai it would not be normal for the accused to be late.

He said the accused told him he was late because he was pulling someone out of the ditch and one of the men told him to lighten up as he was reacting badly.

Mr Murphy also agreed he mentioned about the right sleeve being torn and said that it would not be like the accused to be dressed like that.

He said he had known Mr Devaney for 40 years and knew him as a family man who was kind to his children and grandchildren. He further agreed he was involved in helping people in public and in private when other people were not around to help.