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Rathfarnham murder trial

Woman (22) denies dressing up as her grandmother in an attempt to conceal her killing

Stephanie O’Connor denied that she had killed or assisted anyone in killing her grandmother.

A 22-YEAR-OLD woman, who is accused of disguising herself as her grandmother as a “ruse” to conceal her death, denied to gardaí that she had killed or assisted anyone in killing her grandmother.

The jury today heard the third and fourth garda interviews with Stephanie O’Connor, who is the granddaughter of the deceased Patricia O’Connor, which were held at Wicklow garda station on 2 September and 3 September 2017.

The 22-year-old, of Millmount Court, Dundrum Road, Dublin, is charged with impeding the apprehension or prosecution of Kieran Greene, knowing or believing him to have committed an arrestable offence, to wit the murder of Patricia O’Connor on 29 May 2017.

The deceased’s daughter and Stephanie’s mother Louise O’Connor (41), of the same address, and her ex-partner Keith Johnston (43), of Avonbeg Gardens, Tallaght, are charged with the same offence.

All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Stephanie O’Connor has also pleaded not guilty to disguising herself as the deceased at Mountainview Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14 at a point in time after her murder to conceal the fact that she was already dead.

It is the prosecution’s case that at no point in time in CCTV footage can Stephanie O’Connor be seen as herself leaving Mountainview Park on the night of 29 May.

It is also contended that in order to cover up the alleged murder, she dressed up as her grandmother as “a ruse” to pretend that the deceased had stormed out of the house carrying a suitcase.

It is the State’s contention that the deceased was already dead in the house at the time.

‘I think it’s me’

Evidence has been given that the body of the deceased was dismembered into 15 separate parts that were found at nine different locations over a 30km range in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains between 10 June and 14 June 2017.

This morning, Geraldine Small BL, for the State, read from a transcript of a garda interview with Stephanie O’Connor on 2 September 2017, the third interview since her arrest.

During the interview, the court heard, Stephanie O’Connor was shown video clips from CCTV footage caught on a camera facing the back of Patricia O’Connor’s neighbour’s home in Mountainview Park at 10.06pm on the night of 29 May 2017.

The jury heard that as the CCTV clip was replayed for Stephanie O’Connor, she told gardaí: “I think it’s me closing the door. I think. I’m still not totally sure it’s me.”

Asked specifically if it was her, she said: “I can’t remember.”

The clip was then replayed again and gardaí zoomed in on the person caught on the footage.

When asked what colour hair the person had, Stephanie O’Connor said: “It looks light but that’s [the footage] black and white.”

She then replied “me and Nana” when she was asked who has light hair in the house at Mountainview Park.

When she was asked if the person was her grandmother, Stephanie O’Connor said that Patricia O’Connor had “apparently” left at that point.

“It could be me but I don’t remember, it was ages ago,” she added.

Bringing in a bag

Gardaí then played a clip from 10.05pm the same night, and zoomed in on the footage where the person is seen.

Asked to identify what she sees and to identify who she sees, Stephanie O’Connor replied: “Someone going inside… me, I guess.”

Gardaí then asked her to tell them what she was doing. “Going inside,” she replied.

Asked where she was coming from, O’Connor said: “I’m coming from around the shed.”

She went on to say she couldn’t remember how she got out to the shed. She said she was bringing in a bag from the shed for her mother.

When asked to describe the bag, she said: “It’s just a bag from the shed…my mam asked me to bring it in… I do what I’m told.”

Asked if that was all her mother asked her to do, Stephanie O’Connor said: “I don’t remember.”

Stephanie O’Connor later said she was bringing in a bag from the shed and she couldn’t remember “what the other thing was”.

Asked to describe the bag, she said: “It was a suitcase style bag, I brought it in and went to bed.”

In a separate interview at Wicklow Garda Station on September 3rd, 2017, Stephanie O’Connor replied “no” when asked if she killed her nanny Patricia O’Connor.

The court heard she also replied “no” when she was asked if she assisted anyone in killing Patricia O’Connor.

Louise O’Connor has also pleaded not guilty to agreeing to or acquiescing in her daughter Stephanie O’Connor disguising herself as Patricia O’Connor at Mountainview Park, Rathfarnham, on 29 May 29 2017 in order to conceal the fact that the deceased was dead.

Greene (34) has pleaded not guilty to murdering the deceased at her home in Mountainview Park, Rathfarnham, on 29 May, 2017.

Comments have been closed as the case is before the courts.

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