09 Aug 2022

Tipperary Murder Trial: Pieces of broken glass 'fitted perfectly' into car headlamp at Clonmel accused's home

Waterford Murder Trial: Pieces of broken glass recovered from deceased's gateway 'fitted perfectly' into headlamp of car found at accused's home

The late Paddy Lyons (left) of County Waterford and Ross Outram from County Tipperary

Pieces of broken glass recovered from a retired Waterford farmer's gateway “fitted perfectly” into the headlamp of a car found hidden at the Tipperary home of the man accused of his murder, a garda has said.

Ross Outram (28) of Ferryland, Waterford Road, Clonmel in Co Tipperary, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Paddy Lyons (90) at Loughleagh, Ballysaggart, Lismore, Co Waterford, at a time unknown between February 23 and 26, 2017.

Giving evidence on Monday, Detective Garda Alan Curley told prosecution counsel John O'Kelly SC that he examined the gateway at Mr Lyons' house on February 26. The witness said there was plastic sheeting on the ground and underneath this was a broken "Circle" lock which had been damaged by "pressure". It had not been cut with a clippers, he added. 

The witness testified that he also found “a number of pieces of broken glass”, which he believed to be from a car light, at the other side of the gateway as well as “shards of black plastic” from the "housing unit" for the light.

Det Gda Curley explained that he returned to Ballysaggart the following day and took possession of the broken pieces of glass as well as the damaged lock from the gateway. 

The witness testified that he attended the vehicle examination technical bureau at Santry on February 28, where he examined a Volkswagen Passat. Det Gda Curley said the purpose of his visit was to see if the parts of broken glass recovered from the gateway at Ballysaggart “fitted inside” the light belonging to this car.

“The pieces of broken glass fitted perfectly into the passenger light of the car,” he said.

Detective Garda Shay Keevans gave evidence last week that he searched Mr Outram's house in the aftermath of his arrest. Det Gda Keevans said a blue Volkswagen Passat was concealed at the rear of his house and no number plates were displayed on the car. There was damage to the front bumper as well as to the sides of the vehicle, he added. 

In his evidence, Det Gda Curley said a locksmith attended the yard at Santry and gained access to the Volkswagen Passat in order for a search of the vehicle to be carried out.

In conclusion, the witness said no registration plates were fitted on the car, the front grill and front light were missing, the two lighting units at the front of the car were damaged, and no tax or insurance discs were displayed on the vehicle. 

Under cross-examination by Michael O'Higgins SC, defending, Det Gda Curley agreed that the Volkswagen Passat had crashed into Mr Lyons gate and the pressure had “popped” the lock. The witness further agreed that this was “an opportunistic” way to gain entry into the deceased’s property.

Earlier, Garda Gerry Corcoran gave evidence that he found a “piece of black plastic grill”, which was about 18 inches long on Mr Lyons’ laneway on February 27. “It appeared to be a piece from a car,” he added.

Sandra Walsh gave evidence last week that Mr Outram rang her on February 26 and told her that he had hit the deceased because he would not give him money. Ms Walsh agreed with the prosecution that Mr Outram called to her home on either the afternoon of February 20 or 21 and he was driving a "silvery-blue" Passat car. 

Mechanic Martin Savolsky also testified that he saw Mr Outram washing a blue Passat car in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, on February 24 and there were "some dents" on the car. 

The trial continues this afternoon before Mr Justice Paul Coffey and a jury of eight men and four women.

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