DNA evidence linked accused man to Manuela, trial told

The Central Criminal Court has heard that the DNA of a Galway man accused of murdering Swiss teenager Manuela Riedo in October 2007 was found inside a condom that had been found at the scene of her death.

The jury also heard that the accused man sold Ms Riedo’s mobile phone to his sister’s boyfriend nine days after the killing.

The body of Ms Riedo (17 ) was found in an area of wasteland beside a pedestrian walkway known as ‘The Line’, close to the Lough Atalia area of Galway city.

She had arrived in Galway, where she was studying English with fellow Swiss students, three days earlier.

Gerald Barry (28 ), of Rosan Glas, Rahoon, Galway, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Manuela Riedo at Lough Atalia, Renmore, Galway on October 8, 2007. He has pleaded guilty to stealing a camera and a mobile phone at the same place on the same date.

Dr Maureen Smith, of the Forensic Science Laboratory, told Isobel Kennedy SC, prosecuting, that she examined four swabs that gardai had taken from the accused man.

Earlier, the court heard that a full single male DNA profile had been generated from the contents of the condom found “snagged in a bush” at the scene of the killing.

Dr Smith said that the profile of the condom’s contents matched the DNA profile of Mr Barry.

She said that the chances a person unrelated to Mr Barry would have the same profile are one in a thousand million and that the only persons who share DNA profiles are identical twins.

Dr Smith told the court that she generated a mixed DNA profile from the outside of the condom, which meant that there was DNA present for more than one person.The profile contained all the elements of DNA from both the accused man and Manuela.

There were no elements that did not compare to their profiles, she said.

Det Gda Seamus Burke told the court that he interviewed Mr Barry 10 days after Manuela’s death.

He asked him: “Can you explain how your DNA was on the condom and that of the girl?”

Mr Barry replied: “I can’t answer that question because I don’t know.”

When pressed further he said: “I haven’t worn a condom for the last five years so I don’t know how my DNA is in that condom.”

Mark Keady told Ms Kennedy that he was drinking with the accused man at his house in Rosan Glas on October 17th, 2007.

He said that Mr Barry asked him to buy a Sony Ericsson mobile phone and that he bought it for €30.

Mr Keady said that he went to Spiddal, outside Galway city, at 6pm and went into the local butcher’s where he sold the phone to the man working there, named John Enda Flaherty. Mr Flaherty told the court that he bought the phone from Mr Keady for €20.

He said that there were messages in the phone in a foreign language. He said that he gave the phone to his brother Robert.

Robert Flaherty told the court that he put his SIM card in the phone and noticed that there were a lot of messages written in a foreign language.Mr Flaherty said that he subsequently heard that the gardai were looking for a phone and that, as a result, he gave the phone to his father, John.

John Flaherty told the court that he handed the phone over to the gardai. Arlette Riedo, Manuela’s mother, told the court that her daughter bought a Sony Ericsson mobile phone one week before she left for Galway.

Ms Riedo also told the court that she went to Galway on January 1st last year and was shown a number of items by gardai, including an Olympus camera. She told the gardai that her daughter had received the camera as a gift from her uncle.

The court has previously heard that gardai found an Olympus camera between the mattress and the bed in the room Mr Barry had been sleeping in at Rosan Glas.

Garda Geraldine Doherty told the court that she received a printout of a photo that had been taken on the camera. She said that she carried out a search to try to determine the location of the photo. She said that she visited Millar’s Lane in the Rahoon area of Galway.

The entrance to Millar’s Lane is opposite Rosan Glas, where the accused man lived at the time of the alleged murder.

Gda Doherty took a number of photos from Millar’s Lane looking towards the Rahoon Rd and Rosan Glas.

She told the court that the location in the photo from Manuela’s camera and the location in the photo she had taken were the same.

Dr David Casey, also of the Forensic Science Laboratory, told the court that he examined Manuela’s coat, which had been draped over the upper half of her body and secured with a rock.

One of the buttons from the front of the coat was missing.

Dr Casey said that he also examined a button that had been found on the pedestrian walkway above the area where Manuela’s body was found. He told the court that the button visually matched the buttons on the coat.

He also said that the remaining threads on the coat appeared to have been pulled.

Louise Barry told Dominic McGinn, prosecuting, that her brother, the accused man, was staying with her at Rosan Glas in October 2007. Ms Barry said that she was shown CCTV footage by gardai. She saw a man walking down a street wearing a red jacket and confirmed that she had seen her brother, the accused, wearing a jacket similar to the one shown on the CCTV footage.

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