DNA of accused was found near her body, Manuela trial told on first day

Details of evidence given as trial of Rahoon man opens in Dublin

The trial of a man accused of murdering Swiss teenager Manuela Riedo in Galway in 2007 has heard that his DNA was found in a used condom near her body (Tues ).

The jury heard that Ms Riedo’s body was found in an area of wasteland beside a pedestrian walkway, known locally as ‘The Line.’

Gerald Barry (28 ), of Rosan Glas, Rahoon, Galway, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ms Riedo (17 ) 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.

Sam Beardon told Isobel Kennedy SC, prosecuting, that he was walking to work on October 9th, 2007, along a shortcut below ‘The Line.’

He said that at approximately 9.15a.m. he noticed a rucksack “in the middle of a clump of bushes, on a muddy path.”

Mr Beardon said that he had travelled the same route the evening before and had noticed nothing.

He also noticed a purse on the ground.

The jury heard that Mr Beardon then noticed “something pale in colour.”

He looked a second time and realised it was “the body of a female, not clothed from the waist down, other than a pair of panties.”

“A coat was covering the upper front of her body including the head.”

Mr Beardon said that he called 999. He met the gardai and directed them to the scene.

Dr Dennis Higgins told the court that he arrived at the scene at 10.45p.m that morning.

He said that “a naked female was lying supine on the ground. Her right leg was bent at the knee.”

He noted that the pupils were “fixed and dilated” and that she had no pulse.

Dr Higgins pronounced her dead at 11.05am.

He also noted an “abrasion on the left side of her forehead and bruising on the lower neck.”

He said that her death appeared to have been recent.

Christian Klingle told the court that he is a teacher in Freiburg School in Switzerland.

He said that the school brings students to Ireland every year to learn English and that, in October 2007, he and a colleague travelled to Galway with 43 students.

Manuela Riedo was part of the group.

Mr Klingle said that they arrived in Galway on Saturday night, October 6th and that language schools there had organised accommodation for the students.

Mr Klingle said that he met the students the following day, Sunday, in Eyre Square. Manuela was part of the group.

They walked to the centre of Galway to the Spanish Arch where they met with other fellow students.

Mr Klingle said that he met Manuela later that evening in the King’s Head pub. She was with her friends from the school.

The following day, Mr Klingle met a colleague in the King’s Head for lunch. Some students arrived. Manuela was not part of that group.

He remained with the students until 11pm. One of Manuela’s friends arrived at 9pm.

Mr Klingle said that he noted within some minutes of the girl’s arrival that Manuela was not there.

He said that he did not see Manuela at all that Monday.

Mr Klingle said that the following day, Tuesday, he was with his colleague, Kimberley Kramer-Bertschy, at the Atlantic Centre, and that Ms Kramer-Bertschy received a call.

Mr Klingle then tried to contact Manuela on her mobile phone but received no reply. He also tried to send her a text message but the message did not go through.

Mr Klingle told the court that he reported Manuela missing later that day.

Kimberley Kramer-Bertschy, another teacher at the Freiburg School, told the court that she was part of the group that went to Galway in October 2007.

She told the court that she advised the students before they left for Ireland about being abroad.

She said that one of the things she advised them was that “girls shouldn’t walk alone at night”.

Ms Kramer-Bertschy told the court that she was informed on Tuesday October 9 that Manuela hadn’t shown up for school. She made enquiries as to who had last seen her.

The court heard that Manuela had agreed to meet up with friends in the King’s Head the previous evening but hadn’t shown up.

Ms Kramer-Bertschy said that she had never encountered any problems with Manuela and that she was very popular.

She told the jury that she went to the mortuary of University Hospital Galway on the night of October 9.

She was shown the body of a young female and confirmed it to be that of Manuela Riedo.

Earlier, opening the prosecution case, Ms Kennedy told the jury that evidence will be heard from State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy that the cause of Manuela’s death was “asphyxia due to neck compression.”

Ms Kennedy told the jury that evidence will also be heard from Dr David Casey of the Forensic Science Laboratory that he attended the scene of the alleged murder and “found a used condom snagged in the bushes near the body”.

Evidence will be heard of “DNA analysis carried out and that DNA was found within the contents of the condom and found to be that of the accused”.

The jury will also hear that a “mixed DNA profile” was found on the outside of the condom and was matched to the accused and the deceased.

Ms Kennedy said that evidence will be heard that the home of the accused was searched by Gardai and that a camera was found in the bedroom.

“You will also hear evidence linking the camera to Manuela Riedo,” she said.

She told the jury that evidence will also be heard from a witness that he was sold a mobile phone by the accused and that the phone was subsequently returned to the gardai.

The jury is expected to hear evidence that the IDI number on the phone matched the number on an empty phone box given to the gardai by Manuela’s parents.

Ms Kennedy said that the jury will also hear evidence that Manuela was staying in Renmore Park with her host family, the Tierneys.

She said that Martin Tierney will give evidence that Manuela came home at 5.30p.m. on October 8th, had dinner, and left the house between 7pm and 10pm, and that was the last time he saw her alive.

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