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How the human body decomposes after death.. 'LOVE RIVAL' TRIAL TOLD OF COMPUTER ACTIVITY; Devices seized from home of accused checked by gardai; Quirke asked phone firm for records of calls and texts.

Byline: EOIN REYNOLDS

A GOOGLE search for "rate of human decomposition" had been carried out on a computer seized from murder accused Patrick Quirke's house, a court has heard.

It was conducted in December 2012, a year-and-a-half after Bobby Ryan went missing and four months before his body was found on land then leased by Quirke.

The user clicked on links to websites containing articles called "The five stages of decomposition" and "How the human body decomposes after death".

The Central Criminal Court trial also heard emails were sent from Quirke to Vodafone.ie on May 12 and 13, 2013, requesting records of all calls and texts to his phone from June 2 to June 5, 2011.

The 50-year-old, of Breanshamore, Co Tipperary, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of part-time DJ Ryan, who was known as Mr Moonlight.

He went missing on June 3, 2011 after leaving his girlfriend Mary Lowry's home at about 6.30am.

The 52-year-old's body was found in an underground run-off tank on the farm owned by Ms Lowry and leased by the accused at Fawnagown, Co Tipperary, in April 2013.

The prosecution claims Quirke murdered Mr Ryan so he could rekindle an affair with Ms Lowry, 52.

Detective Garda Paul Fitzpatrick told prosecutor Michael Bowman he examined computers, a thumb drive, an iPad and a hard drive seized by officers during a search of Quirke's property in 2013.

Using forensic software called Encase he searched the contents of one of the computers labelled KKPQ1 which was registered to a "user" but not to any particular name.

He discovered that on December 3, 2012, at about 3.30pm a user searched on Google for "human body decomposition timeline" and later another search was made for "rate of human decomposition".

Google returned a number of pages and Gda Fitzpatrick said there was evidence the user clicked on pages contained within websites environmentalgraffiti.com, forensics4fiction.com and suite101.com.

When Det Gda Fitzpatrick looked at those pages he found articles headed "The five stages of decomposition" and "How the human body decomposes after death".

Around the same time he said there was evidence of YouTube videos embedded into the webpages viewed but he couldn't say if they had been watched. When the officer looked at the videos one was titled "Body Farm and Beyond" and the associated text stated it "takes you on a tour of the body farm".

It contained references to human remains, skin slippage and DNA analysis.

The second YouTube video also related to the Body Farm and when Det Gda Fitzpatrick looked at it, it was described as "a study of human decomposition on real corpses" and contained the note "you will never forget the smell".

The third video had been removed. There was also evidence of an image from a Wikimedia page which contained a reference to "decomposition stages".

Half an hour after this activity the witness recovered an email in which Quirke discussed shares with another man.

Det Gda Fitzpatrick also found older files relating to an operating system that had been on the computer before July 25, 2012. On this he discovered a record of a called howstuffworks.com which contained information on DNA evidence and its limitations.

The witness also found a backup folder for an Apple computer which contained a cookie file which showed someone had searched for "Trace Ireland Facebook Bobby Ryan" on July 4, 2012.

By June 2014, Det Gda Fitzpatrick said the bureau had updated its equipment and he examined the device again. This time he found references to searches for a slurry tanker on the trading website DoneDeal in December 2012.

There was also an email from pquirke@eircom.net to a named person containing images of a slurry tanker.

When he returned to KKPQ1 in May 2015 using a newer version of Encase he discovered a Word document called Mary.doc and an Excel document called Maryowe.xls.

He also found that on May 1, 2013, the day after Mr Ryan's body was discovered, a page on the RTE website titled "man's body found on Tipperary farm" was visited. At 8.09am there was a search for "newspaper headlines" and a few minutes later for "body found in Tipperary".

Another RTE page was accessed and then at 9.34am there was a visit to a page on independent. ie headlined: "Man's body found in Tipperary farmyard."

An Irish Times page titled "Brother of missing man believes body found is him" was visited and a search was made for "body found in Tipperary".

At 4.11pm there was a visit to Breakingwebsite witness Det Gda Paul Fitzpatrick news.ie and a story headlined: "Probe after body found in Tipperary."

The following day an article "Stalker linked to slurry pit body" was accessed at Herald.ie. The user also searched for "Bobby Ryan" on the website.

A visit was made to the Examiner website that night and a story relating to Bobby Ryan, while on May 5, 2013, there was a search for "Bobby Ryan Tipperary break down". On May 15, 2013, various queries included one on thesun.ie for "Mary Lowry and Bobby Ryan".

The detective garda also carried out an examination of a computer belonging to Ms Lowry on which he found a missing person poster relating to Mr Ryan.

He got no hits when he searched for "murder" or "decomposition" and other key words given to him by the investigating team.

The trial, in front of Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of six men and six women, continues.

news@irishmirror.ie

CAPTION(S):

witness Det Gda Paul Fitzpatrick

FARMHOUSE Property where body was found

Patrick Quirke denies murder on trial

Mary Lowry was Mr Ryan's girlfriend LOVER

Bobby Ryan disappeared in 2011 tragic

Body find at Tipperary farm in 2013 SCENE
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Mar 22, 2019
Words:971
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