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'You will be doing the unpopular thing if you acquit Graham Dwyer', jury told

The defence admitted that the case would be perfect for an episode of CSI.

Updated at 10.54pm

  • Defence urges jury to acquit because of a lack of forensic evidence.
  • Defence barrister admits that some of the evidence is difficult, unpleasant, distasteful and repellent.
  • The prosecution closed its case this morning. Read more here

PastedImage-92913 Source: Niall Carson/PA Wire

“I AM NOT here to sell you the idea that Mr Dwyer is a nice man,” Remy Farrell, senior counsel defending in the Graham Dwyer trial told the jury today.

Mr Farrell began his closing argument this afternoon with an extract from one of the explicit documents read to the jury during the trial, called ‘Killing Darci’.

The document stated that the accused had fantasised about killing since he was a teen and that he could decide who lived or died – just like his hero, God.

The SC conceded that these are the undisputed words of his client, Mr Dwyer.

Mr Farrell told the jury he has never had to open a closing speech detailing such content, and said he was pretty sure the jury had never sat on a trial like this before.

He said that the jury has had to hear about “difficult”, “unpleasant” and “distasteful” material that they no doubt find “repellent”.

“I don’t disagree,” he said, agreeing with the prosecution that some of the evidence has been “fairly disgusting”.

He reminded the jury about the presumption of innocence. While he said they might not agree with the sexual tastes of Mr Dwyer, that was not what the trial was about. He said the jury had to look at the case in a “dispassionate fashion”.

Farrell said that much of the material viewed by the jury is “deeply misogynistic” with very explicit sexual activity, including seeing his client’s erect penis before ejaculation.

“However wrong and disgusting…. [you] have seen him in a particular way,” said Mr Farrell, adding that these are very private moments. He said that after seeing images like these, it is difficult to take that person seriously, giving an example that if his pants had fallen down in court, the jury would most likely find it difficult to take him seriously.

“You are about to become the hardest working jury in this building,” said Mr Farrell. While he said that the jury might already have made up their mind that Mr Dwyer is “so disgusting he should be locked up”, he said thoughts like this have to be put aside.

“This is not a beauty contest,” he said.

He said he wasn’t going to present the “Bart Simpson defence of ‘you never saw me do it’”, but argued a clear distinction between fantasy and reality.

The prosecution were making leaps by saying plans for murder and stabbings in documents and texts were something that actually took place, he continued.

The defence claimed that every time the prosecution attempted to bridge the gap, they came up short. He said they put forward an “extraordinarily elaborate theory” that was not backed by evidence.

Graham Dwyer court case Defence barrister Remy Farrell, senior counsel, outside the CCJ in January, at the start of the trial. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mr Farrell said the prosecution had made a “deliberate attempt” to push the jury’s buttons and get an emotional reaction to the case. He said reading out the Gorian lifestyle document at the beginning of the trial was done to “shock and offend”.

He said it was very unlikely after hearing the document that the jury would be endeared to Mr Dwyer, particularly women of the jury.

He said the prosecution was saying that what was in those documents were not just desires, but plans – and those plans were what happened to Ms O’Hara.

Mr Farrell said the prosecution was presenting the fantasy documents and saying: “There you go, there’s the template.”

He questioned the content of the text messages as to whether they are fantasy or reality.

He put it to the jury that the alleged stabbing of the sheep was merely an “infantile fantasy” and questioned why the gardaí were so fascinated by it.

He read out a text message about stabbing a dead sheep: “It was fantastic seeing blood spurt out…”. He said the idea that blood would spurt out of an animal that had been dead for some time was unlikely and suggested that the exchange is that of a “very elaborate infantile fantasy”.

He tackled the matter of the prosecution saying that fantasy changes when it involves real people in real life.

“Is it okay to fantasise about a porn star?” he asked, or a cartoon character like Jessica Rabbit or an actress like Angelina Jolie? He asked whether it was okay to fantasise about the girl next door?

“The prosecution says it is very different when it is a real person,” said Mr Farrell, who said a conclusion like that would shock many a teen boy or men of a somewhat older age.

He said this was all merely “psychobabble” on the part of the prosecution. He also questioned the idea that people who are into “extreme pornography” actually have a desire to do it. “I am not suggesting that it is healthy, normal or good,” said Mr Farrell.

On the videos from 2008 that the jury had watched of Mr Dwyer and Ms O’Hara, he said, “As unattractive as they are… it takes two to tango.”

Active and willing

The defence claimed that the prosecution continued to ignore that after that video was made, the relationship continued and in respect to other women featured in the videos, Mr Farrell said the participants “came back for more and were active and willing”.

He said the prosecution had put a lot of effort to say that someone who would do that with Mr Dwyer is “damaged”, but said that while he and many others would not consider it “normal”, he said there are “a lot of people who have an interest in this”.

PastedImage-35967

The computer and what Ms O’Hara searched for was discussed by Mr Farrell. He said she searched the words “hanging” and “prostitute stabbing” and other items including the stabbing of a woman 48 times and a video of a Swedish man killing himself.

He asked the jury if this meant that Ms O’Hara wanted to stab a woman 48 times? “I don’t think so,” he answered himself.

He asked the jury why Ms O’Hara’s texts were believed to be fantasy, while Mr Dwyer’s are said to be reality.

He put it to the jury that there was “a lot more fantasy in the texts than reality”.

Mr Farrell criticised the garda investigation, stating that they and the prosecution had one theory about what had happened and any evidence that pointed away from it was set aside.

“Suicide is brushed under the carpet.”

He said the State Pathologist’s evidence is key as it states there was no bone injury on the remains that would be conducive to a multiple stabbing occurring. He said it would be “inconceivable there would not have been any bone injury, not even a knicking…”, if as the prosecution had put forward the ‘template’ of the Killing Darci document was used.

He said the prosecution has told the jury “not to worry their sweet, little heads” about it, but he claims the lack of bone injury blows the prosecution “out of the water”.

Mr Farrell urged the jury to be careful in weighing the evidence. He mentioned how Ms O’Hara’s father, Frank O’Hara, said he did not recall seeing a rope and latex suit in his daughter’s apartment. However his partner, Sheila Hawkins, had said they had both come across it.

He said some of their evidence may not be entirely reliable for reasons that are understandable.

He said this could not be said of gardaí.

When evidence popped up that suggested suicide, the gardaí ignored it or pretended it did not exist or they had forgotten it, he said.

He suggested that gardaí felt defensive because of the lack of investigation into Ms O’Hara’s disappearance in 2012.

Mr Farrell said that a rusty blade had been found in the area where the remains were found. He said the woman out walking dogs who discovered the remains said she saw it, however, the three gardaí that were present there did not remember it. “Is it plausible all three gardaí forgot?” he asked, stating he suggested there was a “corporate failure of recollection”.

Emotional evidence

Mr Farrell asked why Mr Dwyer’s adult son had been called to give evidence.

He said the prosecution was trying to send a message to the jury that even Mr Dwyer’s own son was prepared to swear up against him.

He urged the jurors to ask themselves who was pushing their buttons and why.

The case of the spade found near the scene where Ms O’Hara’s remains were found was also commented upon.

“The famous spade Gemma Dwyer describes as being the Dwyer family spade,” he said.

He said it was “undoubtedly dramatic evidence”.

You must have gone home and said ‘that’s it – Mr Dwyer’s spade found up the side of the mountain.

However, the next day forensic scientists told the court that the splatters of paint on the spade were not the same as paint Mr Dwyer used to paint a fence.

“The scientist was very clear on this, the variations means it’s not a match,” he said.

Mr Guerin seeks for you to ignore that evidence and for you to be your own forensic scientist.

He said this was another matter where the gardaí and prosecution “closed their eyes when the evidence doesn’t fit in with their theory”.

He also questioned the reliability of the evidence of Darci Day as the emails to back up her claims are no longer available. Mr Farrell also queried why Mary Crosbie’s statement that she saw a woman crying at the grave on 22 August was not pursued, stating it was another example of the “evidence being dumped out of the case”.

Lies told

Mr Dwyer clearly told lies when he was talking to the police, said Mr Farrell.

While some are guilty of the charge, he said people lie for a lot of reasons, and Mr Dwyer was having an extramarital affair – “if you could call it that” – added Mr Farrell.

The defence said there was an “unprecedented media circus” surrounding the arrest and trial and said the gardai had “created a pressure cooker ” situation with leaks to the media.

He asked the jury to think about a month from now, a year from now and whether they will have second thoughts.

He said if the jury considered something the defence said could reasonably be true “then that is it”.

That is the most important thing to take away with you today.

He urged them to consider if the prosecution’s evidence goes beyond proving beyond reasonable doubt and to consider the gardaí’s approach. He also asked them to consider that there is no evidence as to the cause of death.

He said the only thing put to the jury was that it was a stabbing, but he asked the jury to decide if there had even been a murder in the first place. “Step away think about it,” he said.

Mr Farrell said there was a gaping hole in the prosecution’s evidence and the jury were being asked to look over it.

“You need to weigh what the prosecution says against the forensic evidence. Every turn you make… it all contradicts entirely the thesis the prosecution puts forward.”

He concluded by saying there was an immense degree of public interest in the case and that, no doubt, books would be written and films made.

He said there was everything in it to “titillate the public’s interest… sex, lots of it, kinky sex, a middle-class professional with dark secrets”.

He said it would seem perfect for an episode of CSI.

He said it was the expectation of the media and every bar stool juror as to what the jury should do.

“They expect that you should convict Mr Dwyer,” he said, citing peculiar sexual tastes. But Mr Farrell said that they have seen all the evidence put before them and not everyone around the country has.

“You will be doing the unpopular thing if you acquit Graham Dwyer,” he said, adding there was no doubt about that.

“You will be told you you have done the wrong thing,” he said.

Unlike any case he has ever seen, the jury has seen the accused “having sex and much much more evidence that turns your stomach and makes you want to look away”.

Mr Farrell asked the jury to question why they were being pointed one way. “Ask that question?” he said.

Earlier: Graham Dwyer was a “sadistic, brutal pervert with nothing on his mind other than murder”, jury told

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