Mother of two strangled to death by partner after binge drinking session

Mother Of Two Strangled To Death By Partner After Binge Drinking Session Mother Of Two Strangled To Death By Partner After Binge Drinking Session
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Eoin Reynolds

A mother-of-two was strangled to death by her partner of four months after a "binge" drinking session during which both of them were arrested and released, a barrister has told the Central Criminal Court.

Amanda Carroll's body was discovered in her bedroom the following afternoon by her then 16-year-old son who had left the house that morning to play football not knowing that his mother was dead.

Sean Nolan (36) of Ashington Crescent, Navan Road, Dublin on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Carroll (32) at her home in Homestead Court, Quarry Road, Cabra, Dublin 7 on October 21st, 2018. Today the accused was re-arraigned in front of a jury of six men and six women and pleaded guilty to her manslaughter but not guilty to murder.

Opening the trial Shane Costelloe SC for the prosecution said that Mr Nolan's plea means he accepts he killed Ms Carroll. But, counsel said, the prosecution case is that when Mr Nolan "put his hands on the throat and mouth of the deceased" he intended to kill or cause serious injury and is therefore guilty of murder rather than manslaughter.


He added: "You have to decide whether we have proven that he intended to kill or cause serious injury when he killed her."

'Volatile' relationship

Outlining the case Mr Costelloe said the deceased began a relationship with the accused about four months before her death. They had a "volatile" relationship, he said, "that seems to have arisen with excessive consumption of alcohol."

The day before she died the couple went on a "binge drinking session" that started early in the day and continued at different locations throughout Dublin city and county. At about 5.30pm on the 20th Mr Nolan was driving his car but due to his intoxication he crashed and was arrested, counsel said. Ms Carroll was also arrested for an alleged public order offence. They were detained for a couple of hours and released at about 8pm that night. Mr Costelloe said the jury will hear evidence that they continued their drinking session and were seen between 10pm and 11pm by people who described Ms Carroll as being "highly intoxicated". A taxi driver took them back to Ms Carroll's home where they were caught on CCTV entering the apartment complex together.

The following morning at about 10am Ms Carroll's son Denis (18), who was 16 at the time, went out to play soccer. When he arrived back home that afternoon he went into his mother's room and realised she had passed away. The accused, Mr Costelloe said, had left the apartment earlier that morning and was seen walking around the Dublin 7 area.

When gardai were alerted to Ms Carroll's death they found Mr Nolan and brought him to a garda station where he was questioned about her death.

Mr Costelloe said the accused accepted he put one hand over Ms Carroll's mouth and another around her neck when they were lying in bed that night. Counsel added: "He did it in circumstances where the natural and probable consequences of that action was to deprive her of oxygen and thereby to cause serious injury or to kill her and it is the State's case that he did intend to kill or cause serious injury and he is guilty of murder."

The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Michael MacGrath and the jury.

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