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Man was stopped at checkpoint after burying widow, court told

A killer laughed as he told detectives about driving his victim's car through a police checkpoint less than two days after burying her in a shallow grave, his murder trial heard.

Oliver Hayes (49) of Clancool Terrace, Bandon, Cork, told interviewers that he moved Anne Corcoran's Peugeot away from his street about noon on Saturday, January 24, 2009, before he flew to Austria on a skiing trip with his girlfriend.

The 60-year-old had not been reported missing at that stage.

"I went through the garda checkpoint," he said, explaining that gardai seemed interested in another car and he was able to drive through and park her car in a lay-by.

A detective asked Hayes if he had had a name ready if the gardai had stopped him and asked. "I'd probably have come up with something," laughed Hayes. He laughed again when asked if he had really bought a newspaper in Innishannon that day or chips in Bandon on the Wednesday night, as he said he had.

"No," he responded to both questions.

"I suppose I could claim insanity," he joked.

The Central Criminal Court jury was watching his final garda interview from February 6 last year, after CCTV footage of him withdrawing money from his victim's account led to his arrest.

The painter has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to murdering Anne Corcoran between January 19 and 21, 2009, after abducting her from her home at Maulnaskimlehane, Kilbrittain. He admits falsely imprisoning her in his house and stealing €3,000 from her bank account.

Hayes also told gardai that he attended a 25th wedding anniversary party the night before his holiday. He had taken his girlfriend and her sister to the surprise house party, dropping both of them home at around 1am.

Hayes went back to Bandon, bought dog food and returned to the widow's house to feed her dogs.

"I was going on holidays the next day. I made sure they'd enough to keep going for nearly a week," he said.

Earlier, pathologist Dr Derek Carson gave evidence on behalf of the defence. He agreed with the assistant state pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster, that death was due to a combination of blunt force trauma to the head, a gag and being "trussed up" with electrical cable.

The prosecution asked him if Mrs Corcoran would have lived had she received medical attention or had her gag removed hours after being knocked unconscious, when Hayes said she was still alive.

"I think so, yes," he said to both questions.

The trial continues.

Source Irish Independent

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