Death of Elaine O’Hara ‘very nearly the perfect murder”

Graham Dwyer had ‘passionately held desire to get sexual gratification by stabbing’

Graham Dwyer: prosecution claim that he ‘elaborated carefully and thoughtfully about a range of ideas of how he could kill a woman and get away with it’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Graham Dwyer: prosecution claim that he ‘elaborated carefully and thoughtfully about a range of ideas of how he could kill a woman and get away with it’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

The death of Elaine O’Hara was “very nearly the perfect murder”, the jury in the trial of Graham Dwyer has been told.

In his opening statement Seán Guerin SC said the prosecution would prove Mr Dwyer arranged to meet Ms O’Hara at Shanganagh in south Dublin on August 22nd, 2012, to take her up the mountains and kill her to fulfil his sexual desire.

Mr Dwyer had a “deep-seated and passionately held desire to get sexual gratification by stabbing women”, Mr Guerin told the jury in the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.

The 42-year-old accused, a south Dublin architect and father of two, is charged with murdering Dublin childcare worker Ms O’Hara (36). He has pleaded not guilty.

Her remains were found in the Dublin mountains on September 13th, 2013.

Mr Guerin said it would have been highly unlikely items belonging to Ms O’Hara that were discovered in the Vartry reservoir, near Roundwood, Co Wicklow would ever have been found, but for the fact 2013 had such a dry summer and the water level had dropped.

He said there was no medical evidence of the cause of Ms O’Hara’s death. There was no witness who saw Mr Dwyer at the scene and there was no forensic evidence to put him there. But this was “a simple and straightforward case”, he said.

Mr Guerin said text messages on phones recovered in the reservoir and from Ms O’Hara’s apartment would show Mr Dwyer “elaborated carefully and thoughtfully about a range of ideas of how he could kill a woman and get away with it”.

Messages

He described Mr Dwyer’s relationship with Ms O’Hara gave him some means of satisfying his sexual desire to stab a woman to death. The messages made it clear this was not something Ms O’Hara wanted.

Mr Guerin said the accused had identified in Ms O’Hara “almost the perfect victim”. She had a psychiatric illness, had made a suicide attempt and was only just out of hospital on the day she died.

Mr Guerin alleged Mr Dwyer had “almost a fully compliant victim up to the point of her death”. He had allegedly sent her a message about how he would pretend to kill her and he had convinced her it was “an act of play”. He had a victim who could be brought to an isolated location and not be suspicious, he said.

“He killed her exactly as he said he would,” Mr Guerin said.