A person accused of the homicide of an Irish schoolteacher final yr instructed gardai “I did it” days after her loss of life, a jury has been instructed.
Within the opening day of the trial, the Dublin court docket was instructed that Ashling Murphy had been stabbed 11 occasions within the neck whereas jogging alongside a canal in Tullamore, Co Offaly, final January 12.
Jozef Puska, 33, with an handle at Lynally Grove in Mucklagh, Tullamore has pleaded not responsible to the cost.
Outlining the case to the jury at Dublin’s Legal Courts of Justice on Tuesday, senior counsel for the prosecution Anne-Marie Lawlor mentioned that the proof included “fairly a quantity” of maps, among the 25,000 hours of CCTV footage collected by gardai, and witnesses who have been on the canal walkway.
She mentioned Ms Murphy acquired 12 sharp-force accidents, 11 of which have been stab wounds to the appropriate facet of her neck, and had different wounds that will have been defensive accidents.
She mentioned with the cost of homicide, the jury wanted not solely to resolve “who did this, who killed Ashling”, but additionally that there was an intention to kill or severely injure.
She instructed jurors that the one conclusion that could possibly be drawn from the variety of stab wounds to the neck was that on the very least, the particular person supposed to noticeably injure Ms Murphy.
Ms Lawlor instructed the court docket there was no prior connection “of any type” between Ms Murphy and Puska.
She mentioned that DNA samples taken from underneath Ms Murphy’s fingernails matched that of Puska.
The prosecutor mentioned a “considerably distinctive” bicycle, owned by Puska, was left subsequent to Ms Murphy’s physique and that CCTV would present him on the bicycle in Tullamore within the hours earlier than Ms Murphy’s loss of life.
Ms Lawlor instructed the jury that she believes CCTV footage exhibits Puska biking “in shut proximity” to 2 girls.
She mentioned briars and thorns on the scene by the canal will emerge as “vital” afterward as a result of Puska would later be discovered with cuts on his arms in keeping with leaving by way of a route that prevented folks on the canal.
The jury heard they’d be proven footage of wounds to Puska’s arms, taken by gardai whereas he was receiving therapy in St James’s Hospital in Dublin days after Ms Murphy’s loss of life.
Ms Lawlor mentioned that he “made up a pack of lies” to gardai about being concerned in a stabbing in Blanchardstown.
She instructed the court docket that when gardai returned and questioned him once more, Puska instructed them by means of a translator: “I did it, I murdered, I’m the assassin.”
In what Ms Lawlor known as “very vital proof”, she instructed the jury that after gardai instructed Puska he didn’t need to say something, he then mentioned: “I’m sorry, I see lady I by no means see earlier than”.
“When she move I minimize her, I minimize her neck, she panic, I panic,” she instructed the trial.
The primary witness known as to the case, cartographer and an unsworn member of The police Liam Farrell, mentioned that he ready a number of maps and scene surveys of the Tullamore space and the Crumlin space of Dublin.
Mr Farrell confirmed to the court docket that an apple core, sun shades, trainers and a pink hat have been discovered on the scene.
He mentioned a bicycle was “thrown on high of briars” and that it was a “laborious” and “difficult” space during which to get an correct recording as a result of overgrowth.
One other witness, Detective Garda Caroline Hughes, who took the primary pictures on the scene together with of the place the bike was discovered, described the bike as a grey-black color with inexperienced forks and a blue lock.
A barrister for the defence mentioned he didn’t assume there was a difficulty with the competition that the bicycle belonged to Puska.
Puska appeared in court docket with a ponytail and sporting a gray go well with.
The jury of 9 males and three girls have been instructed by Ms Lawlor that, though the violent loss of life of a younger girl can provoke “a visceral revulsion”, a trial is “a chilly, scientific, dispassionate” consideration of proof.
Choose Tony Hunt outlined the obligations a jury has and mentioned that the defendant wanted to be considered as “cloaked” in a presumption of innocence, and “strongly” urged them to face up to the temptation to have a look at the case outdoors of the courtroom.
The decide instructed the jurors to not talk about the case with anybody outdoors of the jury, and to close down any dialogue about it.
“It’s a fairly prolonged case so I might be summing up the proof on the finish for you,” he mentioned.
Ms Murphy’s household have been current in court docket for the opening of the trial.