Trial starts of Portlaoise man accused of nanny's murder

A 25-year-old Portlaoise man has gone on trial accused of murdering 30-year-old nanny, Aoife Phelan.

Robert Corbet of Sheffield Cross in County Laois denies the murder charge but admits killing her.

Opening the trial the prosecution said Aoife Phelan was reported missing by her parents on October 26, 2012, having last been seen by a friend the previous evening.

In garda interviews, the accused Robert Corbet said he had met the 30-year-old in a nightclub called Coppers some months before and they had sexual contact but not intercourse.

He said she subsequently told him that her period was late and that when he picked her up from her friend's on the night of her disappearance, she was being pushy about their relationship.

He said he snapped and repeatedly struck her before dumping her body - which was later found by a man with a digger near the back of the Corbet residence, who stopped the machine when he saw what appeared to be a leg with jeans and a boot.

The jury heard there will be evidence that Corbet brought Aoife Phelan to his garage, caught her round the neck with his forearm until she was motionless and put a black sack around her head and tied it with cable ties.

The trial is to last around two weeks.

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