Man who shot and dismembered body of his friend previously worked as a butcher, court hears

By Natasha Reid

A father-of-five, who shot his friend dead and dismembered his body, had previously worked as a butcher.

Paul Well Snr had told gardaí about his past when questioned, but said that he hadn’t seen Kenneth O’Brien for several days before the 33-year-old went missing.

The unemployed truck driver described himself as loyal, when arrested on suspicion of murdering Mr O’Brien with a firearm. However, he said that Mr O’Brien was devious, lacked empathy, had a roaming eye and had got carried away with the bright lights of Perth.

Kenneth O’Brien

The contents of his garda interviews were being read to the jury today during the 50-year-old’s Central Criminal Court trial.

Mr Wells of Barnamore Park in Finglas has admitted shooting dead fellow Dubliner Kenneth O’Brien and dismembering his body.

However, he has pleaded not guilty to murdering him at his home in Barnamore Park on 15 or 16 January, 2016. He claims that the deceased had wanted him to murder Mr O’Brien’s partner so that he could take their child back to Australia, where he had previously lived

Detective Garda Declan O’Brien testified that the accused had told him that he had met the deceased in 2007 ‘in the middle of controversy’.

“He was having an affair at the time,” said Mr Wells. “We struck up a friendship and became very close.”

The court had already heard that Mr O’Brien’s affair had come out when he crashed a car carrying himself and the other woman.

“Kenneth was reckless, devious as well,” he suggested.

“Kenneth had a roaming eye,” he said, adding that his partner had felt betrayed.

“I don’t condone that behaviour,” he told his interviewers. “I’m with the same girl for 33 years and married for 30 of them.”

He said the deceased had been ‘messing around’ in Perth.

He had no empathy, yet if you asked him to do something, pull out an engine, he’d do it,” he explained. “He got carried away with the bright lights of Perth. He didn't want to come home.

He quoted Mr O’Brien as saying: ‘Why the f**k would anyone want to live here?’

“He had everything over there. He lived like a king,” he said, telling the detectives that he hadn’t sent much too money home to his partner.

“He obvs had better things to spend his money on,” he added.

He was asked when he had last seen him and he replied that it had been the Monday before he went missing.

He was asked if Mr O'Brien would have any enemies.

“I would think so yeah,” he replied. “He was volatile with drink. He would pick on the biggest fella in the room.”

D Sgt Martin Long said that in a later interview he described himself as being ‘an elder brother’ figure to Mr O’Brien.

He also said that he had worked in a butcher’s about 30 years earlier, but had left when he sliced the top off his finger.

The trial continues.

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