Man died from knife wounds to the head and body, pathologist tells trial

Helen Jones (53) and Keith O’Hara (43) deny murdering Paul Jones (55) in Cork

A Corkman died as a result of two chop wounds to the head and a series of stab wounds to the body and would have died within an hour of receiving them,a murder trial has heard.

State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan told the murder trial of Helen Jones (53) and Keith O'Hara (43) that Ms Jones's brother, Paul had received a total of 25 chop and stab wounds when he was found in the hallway of his home on the Bandon Road in Cork on September 7th, 2019.

Ms Jones and Mr O'Hara, both with addresses at Cahergal Avenue, Mayfield, deny the murder of Paul Jones (55) at his home on September 4th.

Ms Jones also denies a charge of aggravated burglary and Mr O’Hara denies a charge of burglary on the same date.


Dr Mulligan told the jury of seven men and five women at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork that a postmortem revealed Mr Jones had suffered a total of 25 chop or stab wounds as well as 30 bruises, lacerations and scratches .

She said two chop wounds to the top of his head had exposed and fractured his skull. These, she said, were consistent with being inflicted with a sharp and heavy object and could have been caused by a machete which gardaí recovered near the murder scene.

Mr Jones also suffered a chop wound to his left hand which could again have been caused by the machete, she said. He also suffered three stab wounds his face and neck as well as 12 stab wounds to the front of his body, two to his back and two to his right arm.

These stab wounds, which were caused by a sharp bladed knife and were up to 12cm deep, caused damage to Mr Jones’s right lung, his right kidney and liver and led to a significant loss of blood. They also had the potential to be fatal, she said.

Traumatic injuries

Dr Mulligan told the court that it was her belief that the cause of death in the case was the chop wounds to the head allied to the multiple stab wounds to the trunk and right arm, adding that the severity of all these traumatic injuries were enough to cause death.

Dr Mulligan said that Mr Jones would have been rendered unconscious as soon as he received the two chop wounds to the head. Under cross-examination by Tom Creed SC, for Mr O'Hara, she said she believed Mr Jones died within 30 to 60 minutes of receiving the injuries.

The trial also heard from taxi driver, Pat Moynihan, who said he collected Ms Jones and Mr O'Hara at their house at Cahergal Avenue on the night of the alleged murder. He drove them to Mr Jones's house on Bandon Road after agreeing a fee of €20 to drop them there and bring them home.

Mr Moynihan said that he parked on the opposite side of the Bandon Road to where Mr Jones lived.

Ms Jones went over to the door and started banging on it before returning to the taxi, he said. Mr Moynihan said he did a u-turn and parked outside the house again and Ms Jones got out.

He said that he knew both Ms Jones and Mr Jones as he used to have the occasional drink with their late father, Bill ‘The Horse’ Jones.

He said he saw Mr Jones standing in the doorway of his house in his boxer shorts after he opened the door.

Cross-examined by counsel for Ms Jones, Brendan Grehan SC, Mr Moyihan said that he could see that there was friction between them but he did not hear Mr Jones shouting at his sister, threatening to kill her or lunge at her.


"When I saw them at the start, I thought there was going to be a bit of aggression so I rang Togher Garda station but I got no answer. Helen was banging on the door and I thought there was going to be a bit of a blow up," said Mr Moynihan, adding he didn't hear the conversation between them.

Witnesses Carmel O'Herlihy and Marie Hennessy told the court that they were walking by Mr Jones' house at about 9.45pm when they noticed a woman in a dressing gown and with possibly slippers or thick socks on her feet banging on the door with a knife in her hand.

Ms O’Herlihy said she thought it might have been some sort of domestic dispute where the woman was locked out of her home. She said the woman hit the door about 1 0 times with the knife in her hand.

Ms O’Herlihy said no one answered the door as they passed.

Ms Hennessy also confirmed no one answered the door as they passed and she, like her friend, thought the woman may have been locked out of the house and trying to get back given she was in a dressing gown.

The case continues.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times