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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
By Grinne N. Aodha

CCTV ‘shows Puska cycling in town’ on day of Ashling Murphy’s death, court hears

PA Archive

A number of CCTV clips have been shown in court in which a man is seen cycling through a Co Offaly town on the day that schoolteacher Ashling Murphy was killed.

The prosecution has argued that the man seen in footage is Jozef Puska, who was charged with the murder of Ms Murphy.

The montage is formed of CCTV footage from various locations in Tullamore, from different times and of varying quality.

The court heard that there is no footage of the man, which they argue is Puska, from after 2.05pm that day until 8.55pm that evening.

Ms Murphy, 23, was killed while out exercising along a canal path in Tullamore, Co Offaly, at around 3.30pm on January 12 2022.

Puska, 33, of Lynally Grove in Mucklagh, Tullamore, has pleaded not guilty to the teacher’s murder.

On the fourth day of the trial at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin, Det Garda David Harney talked through CCTV footage taken from Garda cameras, businesses and schools in the town.

He told the court that Puska is seen cycling on a grey bicycle with bright green handlebars and forks around Tullamore between 12.25pm and 2.05pm on January 12.

The court has heard that a grey-black bicycle with some green parts was found in the area where Ms Murphy’s body was found.

Mr Harney described the man as wearing a black hoodless jacket and black tracksuit bottoms with a white stripe down the side and the words “Tommy Hilfiger” on the stripe.

Mr Harney also showed to the jury several CCTV clips taken at around 1.40pm on January 12 of a man cycling in the same direction as a woman in a maroon jacket on the day of Ms Murphy’s death.

As the clinical lead, it was my decision to cease resuscitation
— Paul McCabe

Earlier in court on Friday, advanced paramedic Paul McCabe described how he and his colleague arrived at the scene where Ms Murphy was killed eight minutes after receiving an emergency call.

He said two gardai were performing CPR on a person down a steep embankment off the canal walkway in Tullamore.

“I saw a patient, didn’t know whether it was male or female, she was lying on her back,” he told the court.

He said that because of the area Ms Murphy was in, they needed to remove her from the hedgerow to the tarmac path to attempt a resuscitation.

“We had to create a chain to try and drag her up the bank,” he said, adding that her jacket, which was unzipped, came off in this process.

He told the court that Ms Murphy’s hair was matted over her face from either blood loss, body fluid or condensation from the undergrowth.

He said there was a substantial wound or a number of wounds in one area of her neck, and that her eyes were “wide open”.

When he put the pads of the defibrillator on her, he told the court there were no signs of life.

“Her skin was pale, cold and there was no effort to make movement,” he told the court.

“As the clinical lead, it was my decision to cease resuscitation,” he said.

Det Garda Ronan Lawlor of the Garda Technical Bureau described attending the scene and how he collected items that were found at the scene.

These included sunglasses, a light pink woolly hat, and a pair of blue Nike runners, which were shown in court.

Mr Lawlor also identified a number of other items in court, including a green and navy GAA top with yellow stripes, a scarf and a white t-shirt, which were all bloodstained.

Items removed from Ms Murphy’s body – a fitness watch, a gold-coloured ring and a necklace with the words ‘Ashling’ on it – were also identified by Mr Lawlor.

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