Waterford murder trial hears accused had marks on his hands and bruising to inside of thigh

A man accused of murdering a 90-year-old retired farmer had injuries that included marks on his hands and bruising to the inside of his thigh, a trial jury has heard.

Ross Outram (aged 28), of Ferryland, Waterford Road, Clonmel in Co Tipperary, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Paddy Lyons at Loughleagh, Ballysaggart, Lismore, Co Waterford, at a time unknown between February 23 and 26, 2017.

Ross Outram.

Giving evidence today, Detective Garda Joe Wyse told prosecution counsel John O’Kelly SC that he went to Ballysaggart on February 25 after he was made aware that there were suspicious circumstances surrounding a sudden death at Mr Lyons' home.

There was a damaged padlock on the ground at the entrance to Mr Lyons’ property and “skid marks” were visible outside his house, said Det. Gda Wyse.

The witness said he observed what he believed to be finger marks on the front door of the house and there was a “blood-like substance” around these marks.

Det. Gda Wyse said he did not go into the house but paramedics told him that Mr Lyons had a “deep laceration” to his head. However, the witness said he looked in the front door where he saw an elderly male “slumped” in a chair, which faced the entrance.

Following this, Det. Gda Wyse said he went around the back of the house and looked in a “rear window” where he saw a phone with a blood-like substance on it.

A similar blood-like substance was on the inside of the front kitchen window as well as on the inside of the window at the back of the house, he explained.

Det. Gda Wyse said he took photographs of Mr Outram’s injuries in Dungarvan Garda station on February 28.

The witness agreed with Mr O’Kelly that the first photo showed "a mark" on the knuckle of Mr Outram’s middle finger on his left hand. Det. Gda Wyse further agreed that the second photo showed bruising and a scrape to the inside of the accused’s left thigh and another photo showed "a cut" to the knuckle of Mr Outram’s index finger on his right hand.

Paddy Lyons.

Detective Garda Martin Keohane testified that he went to Mr Lyons' house on February 25 where he noted a "fingerprint in blood" above the handle of the front door as well as blood-staining on the wall inside the door. Blood was also found on a plate which was on a table inside the front door, the court heard. Det. Gda Keohane said that he and other gardaí present at the scene came to the consensus at this point that Mr Lyons had been assaulted "at the very least".

Det. Gda Keohane said he arrested Mr Outram on suspicion of Mr Lyons' murder on February 27 and took a Samsung phone, €160 in cash and a set of keys from him.

Detective Garda Shay Keevans gave evidence that he searched Mr Outram's house in the aftermath of his arrest. The witness said a blue Volkswagen Passat was concealed at the rear of his house and no number plates were displayed on the car. There was damage to the front bumper as well as to the sides of the vehicle, he added.

Furthermore, the witness said a grey hoodie with "possible blood-stains" was found in the accused's bedroom during the search and he later became aware that Mr Lyons' DNA was on this hoodie.

In his opening address, prosecuting counsel John O’Kelly SC said the jury will hear evidence that the accused told gardaí that he repeatedly struck Mr Lyons, who only had the use of one arm, in “self-defence”.

The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Paul Coffey and a jury of eight men and four women.

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