I’m very aware that I haven’t yet updated the sad story of Melissa Mahon. Anyone who has been looking for the latest in the trial of the man accused of murdering the Sligo teenager in 2006, either online or in today’s newspapers propably already knows that the trial is in it’s final stages.
I’ve said as much here. Yesterday we heard the closing speeches from both the prosecution and defence. The final setting out of the case for and against the condemned man.
As the prosecution would have it there is a very strong case against Ronald McManus or Dunbar, the 44-year-old father of five who stands accused of the crime. We know that Melissa’s bones were found on the banks of Lough Gill 18 months after she disappeared in September 2006. Two of the accused’s daughters say that their father did the dreadful dead and what’s more, forced them to help him dispose of the body. The prosecution say that it is obvious that the accused is a guilty man and that the various accounts of an indecent affair between him and the 14-year-old which may or may not have resulted in her being pregnant are proof positive of a dastardly motive.
The defence on the other hand say not so fast. They say that while Ronnie Dunbar or McManus may be an arrogant, controlling beligerant man, who defys his counsel’s advise on how to dress and flies the flag of the victim of a witchhunt for all to see, this does not mean he is a murderer. They say that expecting the jury to take the word of the conflicting accounts of two wordly teenage girls is a step too far and definitely not quite cricket.
At this stage in proceedings it’s all down to those six men and six women who make up the jury. Once the judge has finished his charge they will go up into their room and play 12 Angry Men and all that is left for the rest of us, be we press or gardai or the accused, is to wait it out until they come to a decision.
So that’s where I’ll be next week. After a month of intense activity it all boils down the the inevitable, the waiting.