Sisters convicted of man's gruesome killing
The younger of two Dublin sisters who stabbed and beat their mother's African boyfriend to death before sawing up his body with a knife and hammer and dumping his headless corpse in the Royal Canal has been convicted of his murder.
Mother of one Charlotte Mulhall (23) will be sentenced on December 4th with her older sister Linda (31) who was convicted of manslaughter for her role in the killing of Farah Swaleh Noor (38).
The Central Criminal Court jury of six men and six women took three days and deliberated for 18 hours and one minute before returning its majority verdicts on Saturday: 11 members agreed Linda was guilty of manslaughter, while 10 convicted Charlotte of the murder of the Kenyan.
The pair showed little reaction as the verdict was read out to the packed courtroom.
However, later Charlotte hugged her two older brothers on the way down to the cells, while a tearful Linda told them "Thank God it's over."
She then kissed each of them and hugged them tightly before also making her way out of court number 2 at the Four Courts to join her sister.
Her brother James Mulhall thanked the investigating gardaí as he made his way out of the building.
In a series of statements to the gardaí the two sisters admitted their involvement in the killing of the man, known as Farah Swaleh Noor (and also as Sheilila Salim), at their mother's house at Richmond Cottages, Ballybough, on March 20th last year, but had denied his murder ahead of the 10-day trial.
Mr Noor's arms and legs were spotted floating in the Royal Canal 10 days after his brutal murder. His body was retrieved by the Garda Sub Aqua Unit in seven different parts after a passerby saw his leg, with a sock on the end, sticking out of the water.
No relatives of the victim were in court. Gardaí say his mother could not afford the flight from Kenya. His estranged wife and two children will be informed of the outcome of the case and the Garda will seek a victim impact statement from a family representative ahead of the December sentence date.
Another ex-partner, who claimed in evidence that Mr Noor had raped her on an almost daily basis, told reporters she would miss Mr Noor and "thought about him every day". She was there for some of the jury's deliberations, but did not stay until the final verdict.
Shortly after the verdicts were read out Det Insp Christopher Mangan, who headed the murder investigation, told the court of his knowledge of the two accused.
He said Linda Mulhall was unemployed and a mother of four. She has a previous conviction for larceny dating back to 1993.
She did not show up for the start of the trial and a bench warrant was issued for her arrest. A doctor gave evidence that she smoked heroin and drank up to three litre bottles of vodka a day.
Det Insp Mangan said she came from a "very tough family background".
There was a history of abuse by a violent partner who had received a "substantial jail term" for cruelty to her children.
He said Charlotte Mulhall had a conviction under the Criminal Damage Act and for a public order offence. She received probation for both.
She also has a problem with drugs and alcohol and comes from a "troubled" background.
Referring to the death of their father John, he said: "John Mulhall was probably in my view the mainstay of the family." He said the current case had contributed to his death.
Arrangements will be made for Charlotte's baby boy, aged five months, to join her in the Dóchas Centre at Mountjoy women's prison, where he can stay up to the age of 18 months.
An application to authorise this will be made at the Central Criminal Court before Mr Justice Paul Carney tomorrow.
Mr Justice Carney thanked the jury for its careful attention to the verdict, which he said had been a "discriminatory" one.
Speaking at the conclusion of the case, Det Insp Mangan confirmed gardaí had initially believed the killing was a ritual one and had even travelled to South Africa to get details from the police there.
He said: "It was a very long trial and we're happy it's been brought to a conclusion. We're still actively seeking the whereabouts of Kathleen Mulhall. Anyone who has information about her whereabouts, we'd be delighted to receive information from them."
He would only confirm that the mother of the two convicted women was "abroad".
He said up to 100 gardaí had been involved in the initial investigation. He added: "We couldn't identify the body for a number of reasons. We didn't have the head of the victim and we had 60 people identified as missing to us before it eventually came down to Farah Swaleh Noor."