Jury hears phone evidence in trial of man accused of murdering partner

Criminal Courts of Justice

A jury in a trial of a man accused of murdering his ex-partner has heard evidence of phone records between the victim's mobile phone and the accused's mobile phone.

Garda Patrick Robins told prosecuting counsel Mr John Alymer, SC, that he examined phone calls made to and from both hand sets after he received records from Meteor mobile phone company.

He noted from the records that murder victim Breda Cummins had made four phone calls to the accused Michael McDonald's phone on May 5, 2010 - which was the last time there was any outgoing calls made by Ms Cummins to McDonald's phone.

It was day five of the trial of Michael McDonald (aged 51) of Barnhill, Castledermot who has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ms Cummins on May 13, 2010 at Michael Dooley Terrace, Athy.

He has further pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to John Lawlor (aged 44) of Pearse Terrace, Castledermot at Michael Dooley Terrace on the same date.

McDonald has admitted to the manslaughter of the 31-year-old, but this plea has not been accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Gda Robins said he analysed incoming calls to Ms Cummins' phone on May 12, 2010, the day prior to her death and said it showed 13 phone calls made from McDonald's mobile phone to her phone lasting between 10-275 seconds.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel Mr Fergal Kavanagh, SC, Garda Robins said he could not confirm whether GPRS Meteor.ie which was located a number of times on the phone records of Ms Cummins on May 12, 2010 were for free Call me text messages to Mr McDonald's handset.

“There is a series of GPRS Meteor.ie around the time Mr McDonald was making calls to the deceased,” stated Mr Kavanagh. “Can you tell whether these are Call me text messages?”

Garda Robins said to his knowledge of the phone records this was when the phone accessed the internet.

He said he did not know the code for "Call me" text messages but that he could confirm that the connections were made according to the records.

Detective Garda Christine Brady who examined the phones using XRY software for mobile phones and sim cards confirmed to prosecuting counsel that a text message was sent from McDonald's mobile phone to Ms Cummins in April 2010, a month prior to her death, stating “Good luck to you and John. Hope you will be happy.”

A further text was sent to Ms Cummins from McDonald's phone on April 8, 2010 said “Birds of a feather. Adios amigo.”

The trial continues before Ms Justice Iseult O'Malley and a jury of eight men and four women.

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