The jury in the Tipperary murder trial has heard Mary Lowry received an anonymous text message months after her boyfriend disappeared to say she was hiding something and was being watched.
Telecommunications expert Garda Tony O’Brien was giving evidence in the trial of Patrick Quirke of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, who is accused of murdering Bobby Ryan, a part time DJ known as Mr Moonlight.
Mr Quirke has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Ryan at an unknown location on a date between 3 June 2011 and 30 April 2013.
Mr Ryan’s body was found in a disused run off tank at his girlfriend Ms Lowry’s farm two years after he went missing.
The farm was being leased by Mr Quirke who had previously been in a relationship with Ms Lowry.
Garda O’Brien took the jury through phone records he had retrieved concerning the phones of Bobby Ryan, Pat Quirke, Mary Lowry and other family members.
During cross-examination, he agreed that the contents of text messages on Mary Lowry’s phone could not be retrieved prior to September 2011.
However, a new phone was examined in September 2011 and showed a message had been sent saying: "You think you are so cool out partying like Bobby never existed we know you hiding something and we are going to watch you til you crack."
Garda O’Brien said the matter was investigated to see if the sender could be identified, but the investigation was unsuccessful.
A series of calls to and from Bobby Ryan’s number in the days before and after his disappearance were outlined to the court.
On 3 June 2011, his son Robert sent a text message to a number saved on his phone as "Daddy" at 10.44am asking "Da are you not working today?"
Garda O’Brien confirmed the text message never reached Bobby Ryan’s phone because it appeared it had stopped receiving data by that time on the day he disappeared.
Bobby Ryan suffered 'multiple fractures' to his head and face
A radiologist who performed a CT scan on the remains of Bobby Ryan in 2013 has told the Central Criminal Court he suffered multiple fractures to his head and face caused by several different blows from a blunt force.
Anthony Ryan said the injuries could have been caused by being struck and thrown by a vehicle but he could not rule out an assault.
He told the court that in his 21 years experience he had seen hundreds of injuries of this kind. The combination or pattern of fractures to the head, face, ribs and leg was always caused by either a fall from a height or a road accident.
He could not recall seeing this combination of injuries caused by anything else. However, he said in most cases he would be dealing with living patients and would have some information about what had happened.
His examination of the remains of Bobby Ryan was only the second time he had carried out a post mortem CT scan and he was not a forensic radiologist, he said.
He outlined multiple fractures to Mr Ryan's head and face along with several rib fractures and a fractured thigh bone just above the knee.
He said the skull and facial fractures would have required a minimum of four different blows with an object. That could include hitting a wall, the ground or a vehicle with considerable force he said.
He agreed with defence counsel Lorcan Staines that the type of fracture to the leg was more consistent with a vehicular injury than a blow from a bat.
If it was caused by a blow from a bat it would require significant force, he said. However, he told prosecuting counsel Michael Bowman that he could not rule out a blow from a bat.
He said if the injuries were caused by a vehicle it would have to be travelling at a minimum of 30kph but closer to 50kph.
He also agreed with defence counsel Lorcan Staines that some of the rib fractures could have been caused by small pieces of concrete falling into the tank during the operation to recover Mr Ryan's remains.
However, he said it was highly unlikely that the injuries to the skull, face or leg were caused by this.