Appeals lodged over Patricia O'Connor murder

Patricia O'Connor (61) died from "catastrophic injuries" on the retired hospital worker in a sustained attack, the court heard

A 35-year-old man sentenced to life in prison for murdering a retired grandmother, whose dismembered remains were found scattered at nine different locations in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains, has lodged an appeal against his conviction.

Father-of-three Kieran Greene was sentenced to life in prison on June 22nd for murdering Patricia O'Connor (61) having been found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury of inflicting "catastrophic injuries" on the retired hospital worker in a sustained attack in the bathroom of her Rathfarnham home.

The jury accepted the prosecution's case that Greene bludgeoned the grandmother to death with a hurley and that his claim of self-defence "did not hold any water". They rejected Greene's claim that Mrs O'Connor's husband, Augustine 'Gus' O'Connor, had killed his wife using a crowbar and he [Greene] had taken the blame.

It was the State's contention that there was no evidence of a single defensive wound on Mrs O'Connor's body and Greene bore an "ill-will" and "a particular animus or bad feeling" against the deceased.

The Courts Service has confirmed that Greene has made the appeal against his conviction. The defendant had 28 days following sentencing in which to submit his appeal.

The Court of Appeal will also hear an appeal by Keith Johnston against his conviction and sentence. It is understood that the three other defendants - Louise O'Connor (41), Stephanie O'Connor (22) and Augustine 'Gus' O’Connor (76) have not lodged appeals.

Johnston (43) was found guilty last February of impeding the apprehension or prosecution of Greene, knowing or believing him to have murdered Mrs O'Connor on May 29, 2017. The handyman was sentenced to three years in prison by trial judge Mr Justice Paul McDermott last June.

Handing down sentence, Mr Justice McDermott said that Johnston, a "trusted member" of Mrs O'Connor's extended family who helped her murderer buy DIY tools which he knew were to be used in the dismemberment of the grandmother's remains, had taken part in a "grotesque idea" and it was clear that he intended that her remains would never be found. His actions were a callous disregard and total disrespect for Mrs O’Connor, he said.

Johnston with a last address at Avonbeg Gardens, Tallaght, Dublin 24 was found guilty of assisting Greene in the purchase of various implements at Woodie's, Mr Price, B&Q and Shoe Zone, Tallaght, Dublin 24 on June 9, 2017, which were to be used in the concealment of the remains of Mrs O'Connor. Johnston is the ex-partner of the deceased's daughter, Louise O'Connor, and is father to two of her five children including Stephanie O'Connor.

The deceased's daughter Louise O'Connor, her granddaughter Stephanie O'Connor and Stephanie's father Keith Johnston were each found guilty in February of impeding the apprehension or prosecution of Louise's former partner Kieran Greene, knowing or believing him to have murdered Mrs O'Connor on May 29, 2017.

Patricia's husband Augustine O’Connor was originally part of the trial but shortly before it began in January, he pleaded guilty to reporting his wife as a missing person to gardai at Rathfarnham Garda Station, Dublin 14 on June 1, 2017, knowing she was already dead. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

The judge jailed Stephanie O'Connor for one-and-a-half years in prison and her mother Louise O'Connor to two-and-a-half years.

Mother-of-five Louise O'Connor, with a last address at Millmount Court, Dundrum Road, Dublin 14 was found guilty of agreeing to or acquiescing in her daughter Stephanie O'Connor disguising herself as Patricia O'Connor at Mountainview Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14 on May 29, 2017 in order to conceal the fact that Patricia O'Connor was dead.

Stephanie O'Connor also with a last address at Millmount Court, Dundrum Road, Dublin 14 was found guilty of disguising herself as Patricia O'Connor at Mountainview Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14 at a point in time after her murder on May 29th, 2017 in order to conceal the fact that she was already dead.

The seven-week trial heard that the body of Mrs O’Connor was dismembered into 15 separate parts that were found at nine different locations over a 30km range in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains between June 10th and 14th, 2017.

Former Deputy State Pathologist, Dr Michael Curtis, gave evidence in the trial that Mrs O'Connor's head was struck a minimum of three blows with a solid implement and the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

Greene had pleaded not guilty to murdering the gardening enthusiast at her home in Mountainview Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14 on May 29th, 2017 and had given two accounts of Mrs O'Connor's death. In an interview with gardai in June 2017, Greene said he was in the bathroom when Mrs O’Connor attacked him with a hurley.

Greene maintained that he had disarmed Mrs O'Connor and acted in self-defence by hitting her with a hurley and as a result of that she may have died. He claimed he was the only one involved in the physical altercation and had acted alone in removing her body from the house, burying her in a shallow grave in Co Wexford and subsequently dismembering her.

The trial heard that six months after he was charged with her murder, Greene changed his account of killing and dismembering his partner's mother. While on remand in Cloverhill Prison in December 2017, Greene told gardai that he had taken “the rap” and felt he was being set-up, as his girlfriend Louise O'Connor subsequently started going back out with her ex-boyfriend Keith Johnston.

In his December interview Greene claimed that, although there was an altercation, he was not responsible for Mrs O'Connor's death, that her husband Augustine 'Gus' O'Connor had killed her with a crowbar and that other family members had been involved.