Witnesses claim man admitted killing father of four

Accused denies murder of 42-year-old whose body was found in the River Bandon

Two men have told how a man accused of murdering a father of four admitted the killing to each of them when he met them separately in the building where the killing happened.

Former partners, Shane O'Driscoll and Aaron Nolan both told the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork how Ciprian Grozavu told them that he had killed 42-year-old John Forrester.

Mr Grozavu, a 39-year-old Romanian of Bridge House, Sean Hales Place, Bandon has denied a charge of murdering Mr Forrester at Bridge House, Bandon on November 12th 2011.

The body of Mr Forrester, who was originally from Blackpool in the UK but had been living in Bandon for around two years, was recovered from the river Bandon three days later.


Today, Mr O’Driscoll told the court how Mr Grozavu had left him into the main door of the house after his then partner, Mr Nolan had gone home early with the keys to his flat.

Gardaí had come across him throwing stones at the window of the first floor flat to try and wake Mr Nolan and they had accompanied him into the building and up to his flat.

He said gardaí had taken Mr Nolan to Southdoc to attend to a head injury he had suffered and he was alone in the flat with Mr Grozavu when he told him he had killed Mr Forrester.

“Chippy (Mr Grozavu) came into the flat - he didn’t look great, he was pale and nervous and he just came out bluntly and said that he was after killing John Forrester,” said Mr O’Driscoll.

“I said I didn’t believe him because they were always fighting and then he said ‘I’m after cutting his throat - come down and I’ll show you’ - I said ‘No’ and I went to bed.”

The jury have already been told that Catherine O’Connor, who was involved in a relationship with both accused and deceased, has previously pleaded guilty to Mr Forrester’s murder.

Cross-examined by defence counsel, Tom Creed SC, Mr O'Driscoll denied that Mr Grozavu had said to him that Ms O'Connor had killed Mr Forrester during the brief conversation.

Mr Creed put it to Mr O'Driscoll that Mr Grozavu had said that it was Ms O'Connor who had killed Mr Forrester and that his recollection was impaired because he had been drinking.

“I would not forget about something like that - a man is dead - Chippy said ‘I’m after killing John, I’m after slitting his throat’- I was there, you weren’t,” he told Mr Creed.

Mr Nolan told how he returned to the flat after getting medical treatment to discover Mr O’Driscoll had gone to bed and he met Mr Grozavu and asked him for a cigarette.

“Chippy gave me a roll up and then he said “I’ve murdered John” and I said ‘F**k off, don’t be annoying me,” said Mr Nolan, adding he had been drinkig but was not drunk at this stage.

Today was the fourth day of the case before a jury of six men and six women and Mr Justice Paul Carney at the Central Criminal Court and the case is expected to last two weeks.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times