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Man allegedly thrown down rubbish chute suffered 'gruesome death', court hears

David O’Loughlin (31) denies the murder of 59-year-old Liam Manley.

Image: Laura Hutton

A MAINTENANCE WORKER who went to an apartment complex to unblock a chute instead found the remains of a deceased man who suffered a “gruesome death”, a murder trial in Cork has heard.

David O’Loughlin (31) of Garden City Apartments, North Main Street, Cork, denies the murder of 59-year-old Liam Manley at the same complex on 12 May 2013.

In outlining the case for the prosecution at a Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork Patrick McGrath, SC, said that Manley was thrown down the chute of the apartment complex by O’Loughlin. 

It is alleged that O’Loughlin said to another man that the accused was “down the drain”.

Manley, who was a user of services of the Simon Community, died of mechanical asphyxia arising out of being caught in a waste chute.

McGrath said a maintenance man tried to unblock the chute on 14 May 2013. He will say in evidence that initially he thought the red liquid he encountered in the chute was sauce. He then realised it was blood and found the remains of Manley. 

His initial attempt to unblock the chute had been unsuccessful. He used rods and got a “terrible shock” and “panicked” when he found the deceased.

Although in the region of just 24-36 hours had passed between the death of Manley and the recovery of his body his remains were in an advanced stage of decomposition.

Evidence

McGrath said that the jury will also hear evidence from an acquaintance of the accused called David O’Mahony. 

His evidence will be that Manley was in the apartment of the accused in Garden City complex in Cork on the morning of 12 May.

He will say that O’Loughlin began to verbally abuse Manley and punched him in the face before he dragged him out the door. 

O’Mahony will state in evidence that he stayed in the apartment and heard the sound of a steel door shutting. 

He will testify that when O’Loughlin came back he said Manley was “down the drain”. O’Mahony will reportedly testify that he did not believe the words of David O’Loughlin. 

The State case will be that Manley, who was 5’4″ tall and of a “slight frame” was thrown down the chute by O’Loughlin sometime between 6am and 8.15am on 12 May 2013.

The prosecution case will also involve two women who allegedly came to the apartment later that morning. O’Loughlin is alleged to have said that he put someone in the chute.

McGrath stated one of the female witnesses will say that she thought the accused was “talking crap”.

McGrath said that the deceased was a “hard worker” in his youth but that he developed a drinking problem and entered sheltered accommodation provided by the Simon Community.

Garda investigation

McGrath said that a garda investigation commenced once the body of Manley was found. The Senior Counsel stated that the trial which is being presided over by Justice Tara Burns, will last for up to two weeks.

He said that the evidence will involve CCTV, forensic evidence from the chute, and forensic evidence from blood found on the sofa of the apartment. The State case is that the accused and Mr Manley were not known to each other prior to the incident. 

McGrath told the jury that the case involves a steel cyclindrical chute from the top to the bottom of the building. It goes into a large rubbish bin and is used by the various apartments.

Manley was originally from Bakers Road in Gurranabraher in Cork city. 

A jury of seven women and five men were sworn in to hear the evidence in the case. Witnesses will start giving evidence in the case today.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. 

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About the author:

Olivia Kelleher

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