Man strangled girlfriend after row, court told


A 33-YEAR-OLD man killed his girlfriend by strangling her, then left her body in the flat they shared and went out drinking for the rest of the night and the following day before contacting gardaí, a jury has heard.

Stephen Carney strangled 27-year-old Amanda Jenkins on a Friday evening of October last year but did not tell anyone until Sunday morning. He is on trial at the Central Criminal Court for murdering Ms Jenkins on a date between October 5th and 6th, 2007, at Anna Livia Apartments, James's Street, Dublin 8.

He admits killing the deceased, but denies murder.

Diarmaid McGuinness SC, prosecuting, read a statement into evidence from Joan Carney, the accused man's mother. In it she said she had been in a pub in Rialto on the Friday night when her son joined her. She said he had scratches on his face and "wasn't himself", but he did not say what was wrong with him. She rang him the next day but he was in a pub again, and she gave out to him.

The court saw a video of an interview with Mr Carney conducted on Sunday, October 7th, 2007, at Kilmainham Garda station. In it he admitted killing his girlfriend, but said he did not intend to do so.

He said he tried to ring gardaí after she died on Friday but couldn't, and left the flat to go drinking. He said he returned to the flat on Saturday morning for 10 minutes before going drinking again. In the video he appeared distressed. He said, "What the f**k have I done, oh Jesus."

The court earlier heard he made a 999 call on Sunday morning and told gardaí he had killed his girlfriend. Her body was found on the floor of a bedroom .

State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy told Mr McGuinness she arrived at the flat on the Sunday to examine Ms Jenkins's body. She estimated that Ms Jenkins had been dead for over 24 hours.

Prof Cassidy said the woman's face was a purplish colour, she had a dark mark around her neck and a bone in her neck was broken. She said this was consistent with manual strangulation. The body was fully clothed and there was no evidence of a protracted struggle or an attempt to resuscitate.

In the video of the interview, Mr Carney said, "We had an argument on Friday, she gave me a clatter and I just lost it and strangled her".

He had been drinking on the Friday and came home to find Ms Jenkins had smoked cannabis in the flat. He said he did not smoke it himself and complained about the smell. They argued in the sitting room, she hit him and he strangled her. He told gardaí he did not know what to do with the body so he dragged it into the bedroom and "went on the drink".

He said he knew she was dead and on Sunday morning tried to hang himself, then cut his wrists and took tablets. When that did not work, he rang gardaí.

When asked by gardaí whether he meant to kill Ms Jenkins, he said he did not and that he just wanted to frighten her.

The hearing continues before Mr Justice Paul Carney and a jury of eight men and four women.