No payments for nearly two years on killer's mortgage

 

ANNE CORCORAN’S killer was being pursued by his credit union for more than €10,000 of bad debt, his murder trial has heard.

He had also paid nothing off his mortgage in almost two years when he decided to rob the 60-year-old widow.

Oliver Hayes (49), Clancool Terrace, Bandon, Co Cork, entered the witness box at the Central Criminal Court yesterday, where he said he was also under other financial pressure at the time.

“Some people were on to me a lot to get paid for things,” he said. “I had a lot of sleepless nights wondering where money was going to come from.” He said he decided to rob someone. “I made the wrong decision,” he said.

The painter has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to murdering Mrs Corcoran between January 19th and 21st, 2009, after abducting her from her home at Maulnaskimlehane, Kilbrittain, on January 19th. She had to show him how to open her car boot before he locked her inside, with her hands tied.

Hayes has pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning her in his house and stealing €3,000 from her bank account after her death.

He told Blaise O’Carroll, defending, that he burned Mrs Corcoran’s body on January 24th last year before burying it in woods near Ballinspittle in order to destroy evidence leading to him.

“Probably watching crime programmes on TV,” he said, explaining where he got the idea. “You cover your tracks. Anything that’s burned is hard to find DNA [on]. Any drop of sweat or an eyebrow can catch you.”

The killer’s former girlfriend said he had scratches on his “deadly white” face on the morning of January 20th last year. “I commented that he looked like he had been in a cat fight,” wrote Josephine Collins of Churchview, Ballinspittle, in a statement read in court. He told her a car almost hit him when he was out preparing for a walking marathon. He got the scratches when he ended up in the ditch, he had said.

Ms Collins said Hayes paid her son cash he owed him four days later, before the three of them went skiing in Austria. Hayes owed him for that holiday, as well as for a previous football trip.

“He didn’t have much money on holidays,” she wrote of Hayes. “He never had any money.” However, she said he paid for his own trips in Austria and paid for their train fares, with them paying him back. “Usually it was the other way around,” she remarked.

She said he did not seem interested when they heard Mrs Corcoran was missing. He later told her he had worked with Mrs Corcoran’s husband and “sort of knew her”. “I was shocked as he hadn’t mentioned it before,” she wrote.

Hayes will be cross-examined by the prosecution this morning.