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Graham Dwyer sent letter to wife saying: "Do not believe the gardaí"

The court heard evidence from Gemma Dwyer, the wife of Graham Dwyer.

Undated image of Elaine O'Hara
Undated image of Elaine O'Hara
Image: Garda Press Office

GRAHAM DWYER’S WIFE gave evidence in court today about a letter her husband allegedly sent to her last February.

Gemma Dwyer also told the court that she noticed in the summer of 2013 that a spade from their garden was missing.

Leading Gemma Dwyer through her evidence, Sean Guerin SC, prosecuting, asked if it was correct that she was the wife of “the accused man, Graham Dwyer.”

“I am,” she replied.

Mr Dwyer (42) is charged with the murder of Elaine O’Hara at Killakee, Rathfarnham on 22 August 2012, hours after she was discharged from a mental health hospital.

The Cork-born father of three from Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, Dublin has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Guerin read a letter to the court he said was sent from Mr Dwyer to his wife Gemma on 28 February 2014. The court was told that Mrs Dwyer recognised the handwriting as her husband’s.

Letter 

In the letter, the writer denied involvement in Elaine O’Hara’s murder, calling her “that awful woman”.

“Do not believe the gardaí. They actually have no evidence except my name and someone else’s phone number in that awful girls’ diary,” the letter says.

Other parts of the letter say: “I do know her, yes, I was helping her. And I wasn’t totally honest with you.”

The letter says that ‘another man’ who was interested in Real Madrid and wore ‘pink underwear’ was involved. This other man disposed of some personal items on Elaine O’Hara’s behalf, the letter says. The writer also states that they think O’Hara committed suicide.

The letter also stated that Ms O’Hara was released from a “mental hospital” and that the letter-writer “saved her life once”.

The writer said they should have gone to the police when she went missing, stating they could have known where she might be.

Separately, Sean Guerin asked Gemma Dwyer when she first met Graham Dwyer.

“We were both students of architecture in Bolton Street,” she said.

She told the jury that they met in the mid-1990s when they were both attending DIT Bolton Street.

They dated and later got married. She said they first lived together in a home in Rathmines, but later moved to their home in Foxrock.

Mrs Dwyer was asked to write the names and dates of birth of her two children. This was presented to the jury.

She told the jury that her husband had a “huge” interest in model plane airplanes. She said her husband would often work on the planes in the evenings as well as practising at the weekends.

Mr Dwyer was a member of a number of model airplane clubs, one in Shankill and another in Roundwood, she said.

She told the court that on Wednesday evenings he often went to the club straight from work and she would expect him home at around 8.30pm.

Details

Mrs Dwyer also spoke about the birth of one of her children in the National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street in Dublin. She said they had lots of visitors to the hospital, stating that the birth of a child is a “wonderful time”.

She said that her husband was “fantastic” with computers, stating that he had his own laptop, as did she. She said that he often brought computers home from the office to do work also.

Mrs Dwyer told the court that her husband had many cars over the years, including a Porsche 911 which she said he kept for the longest period of time. She said that he called it ‘his baby’.

He also had a number of Audi TTs over the years, including a blue Audi which she recalled had a Galway registration plate.

She told the court that her husband had a tattoo on his left shoulder which he had got before she had met him. It is a symbol from the Book of Kells that was also on the old penny.

Mr Dwyer’s wife was asked about her husband’s mobile phone. An 087 number was read out in court and she was asked to identify if it was her husband’s phone number. She agreed that it was and said that she didn’t know of any other phone number for her husband.

Gemma Dwyer said she had no specific recollection of 22 August 2012, the date on which Elaine O’Hara went missing.

The prosecution asked Mrs Dwyer if she recalled the date 13 September 2013, the date when Elaine O’Hara’s remains were found. She said she did recall the date as it is the same date as her husband’s birthday, as well as her own.

We went out to dinner in a Mexican restaurant on South Great George’s Street and celebrated our birthdays together. We got the Luas home.

She was shown photos of a rucksack and a number of knives, which she said she had no recollection of ever seeing before. She was also shown a photo of a jacket. She told the court that her husband had a Northface jacket.

Spade

Particular attention was paid to two spades in court. Mrs Dwyer was shown a spade, which she said she recognised, telling the court that it was a spade from “our garden”.

She told the court that there had been a time when she noticed it missing from their garden. “It was something that came to mind after the arrest,” she said.

Mrs Dwyer agreed that when she first spoke to gardaí she told them the spade found at Killakee near Elaine O’Hara’s remains was the same type of spade as they had had in their home.

She said the spade from their house had stickers on it and splatters of orangey red paint.

She was shown a photograph of a swing set in her back garden, which she believed was taken on 5 March 2011.

She said she remembered the day the photo was taken. Before her daughter was born they had bought a swing set for her son, and her father and Mr Dwyer put it together.

“I believe the picture was taken when built,” she said.

Mrs Dwyer was asked to look to the left of the slide in the image.

“That’s our spade,” she replied, agreeing it was the one that had gone missing.

She said she recalled that the spade had been missing for the entire summer of 2013.

Missing 

She said she would use it a lot herself as the neighbour’s dog would often soil the garden. She spoke about how her children would play in the garden, where there was a sand pit and trampoline, and told the jury that she would use the spade to remove the dog dirt from the garden.

Mrs Dwyer said she recalled having had to use a plastic spade a number of times to remove the dog dirt when she could not find the garden spade. She said she had mentioned the missing spade to her husband a number of times.

She said their garden spade had a specific sticker on it and had red/orange paint on it. She said that the paint got on it during the painting of their garden fence and shed a number of years previous. She said it had “gotten everywhere”.

Defence barrister, Remy Farrell SC, put it to Ms Dwyer that she had been shown a spade by the gardaí and said it was “the same type of spade as ours.”

He put it to her that the paint she noticed on the spade was the basis for her identification of the spade.

“And other characteristics,” said Mrs Dwyer. She added that it was the same type of spade and had the same stickers.

“The paint was the thing that made me remember that it was our spade,” she said.

She told the court that following the search of their home in 2013, she noticed another spade in her home. She said she assumed it had been left by gardai.

Niall Nugent, a representative of Ames True Temper, a company which manufactures spades, gave evidence about the two spades mentioned in court today.

He said the spade found in the Dwyer home in Foxrock after it had been searched in September 2013 had a stamp showing it had been manufactured in China in February 2013.

He told the court it would have taken a further few months before the spade would have been available for sale in Ireland, stating that it would take up to 16 weeks to be shipped.

Nugent said the spade found on Killakee Mountain would have been manufactured sometime between 1998 and 2009. He said it had a distinctive label in green and white colours. However,unlike the other spade, there is no date stamp on it.

Fiona Thornton from a forensic lab gave evidence in relation to DNA evidence from the remains. She said she examined a number of items such as a bull clip with wires and two human hairs, denim shorts and a sock, but DNA found did not belong to that of Graham Dwyer.

She said no blood was found on the clothes from the reservoir, nor was any found on the bondage items and sex toys. The scabbard and handcuffs were also clear.

Laptop

Earlier today Detective Garda Brid Wallacea told the court about what she had found on Ms O’Hara’s HP laptop.

A number of image files of headshots of men associated with a BDSM website were discovered.

She told the court that there were 9,500 views of Ms O’Hara’s profile on the website.

Diary entries from November 2010 were also found on the laptop.

The trial continues.

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