Celine Cawley’s brother Christopher looked shaken and uncomfortable as he took the stand against the man his sister had been married to for seventeen years.  Eamonn Lillis did not look at his brother-in-law as he told the court about an incident in the days after Celine’s death.

Mr Cawley told the court that Mr Lillis and his daughter had stayed with them while the gardai conducted their forensic investigation of the house on the Windgate Road in Howth where Celine Cawley had been killed.

He said that on December 18th, three days after the tragedy he had a conversation with his brother-in-law about a story that had appeared in the Evening Herald.  The story had concerned the discovery of a bloody brick at the crime scene and the announcement that this brick had been the murder weapon.

Mr Cawley said Mr Lillis had seemed surprised by the story.  He had thought it odd, “because everyone knows that the brick was found for didn’t I hold the brick in my own hand.”

This afternoon’s evidence largely came from the members of the extended Cawley family.  Christopher Cawley’s house had become the gathering place for family and friends in the hours after the news of Celine’s death had been broken.  Paula Linsky, Christopher Cawley’s sister-in-law, told the court that she had been leaving the house to collect her children from school just as Mr Lillis arrived there after speaking to gardai. 

She told the court that she had heard an outpouring of grief as she left the house that day as Mr Lillis’s daughter greeted her father.  “I just heard very upset people.”

The death had caused shockwaves through this extremely middle class world.  A neighbour, Pauline Fraser, told the court that she heard two screams on the morning of the 15th at around 9.30.  The sound was so unusual at that hour of the day that it stuck in her memory. 

She told the court that she had slept late after spending most of the previous night at the hospital but had been woken by a shriek.  Then thirty seconds later came another scream.  She had thought it was teenagers outside the local newsagents or possibly a neighbour’s children and only reconsidered when her husband called to tell her that the tranquillity of their leafy road had been irreparably broken.  The scream had been high pitched, definitely a woman.

The court also heard forensic evidence that Ms Cawley’s DNA had been found on the heavily bloodstained clothes found in a suitcase in the attic at Rowan Hill.  Dr Hillary Clarke told the court that she would have expected the clothes Mr Lillis had handed over to gardai to have been far more heavily bloodstained if he had been carrying out CPR on his wife. 

She said that both the top Mr Lillis had handed over and the t-shirt he wore underneath had Ms Cawley’s blood on the inside.  The most likely explanation for a stain inside one of the sleeve’s of the jumper was that the arm that had been put in it had been wet with blood.

She said that runner boots found in Mr Lillis’s bedroom had both airborne and contact blood stains and had almost certainly been nearby when Celine Cawley’s blood had been spilt.

She said that lighter blood stains on a pair of heavily bloodstained jeans found in the suitcase had probably come from someone cleaning up blood, as had similar stains on a pair of white socks found in the same place although she agreed with defence counsel Brendan Grehan that these stains could have been made by the wet blood that had pooled inside one of the rubber gloves found in the suitcase.

A Breitling watch found on the bedside table in Mr Lillis’s room had, she said been wiped clean of Ms Cawley’s blood, although some remained in the crevice around the watch space and the links of the strap yielded both blood and tissue both of which were a match for Ms Cawley’s DNA.

The trial continues tomorrow.