Defence said Laois man was provoked

The jury in the trial were told to ignore the desecration of Aoife Phelan’s body and concentrate on the moment she was killed.

Accused Robert Corbet testified last Wednesday that he had his doubts about Ms Phelan’s claim that she was pregnant.

He said they argued and that she threatened to ruin his life. He said he lost self control and strangled her in his shed.

His barrister asked the jury to ignore the desecration of her body and concentrate on the moment she was killed.

Conor Devally SC, defending, said the jurors had to consider if it was “reasonably possible” that he had totally lost self control. If so, a verdict of manslaughter was open to them.

He said it would deviate from their function were they not to consider this verdict due to his “cowardly, self-serving, mealy-mouthed” actions.

He added that it would be only human to be unwilling to consider the actual moment she was killed due to the “desecration of Aoife Phelan” afterwards.

He asked the jury to acquit Mr Corbet of murder and find him guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of provocation.

However Isobel Kennedy SC, prosecuting, said that there was no provocation and described the accused man’s actions as calculated.

“This was a man entirely in control. His acts were deliberate and calculated,” she said. “The prosecution has proved to you that his man is guilty of murder.”

The jury of nine men and three women deliberated for an hour and a half last Thursday, May 22, before Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan sent them home for the night.


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