The jury in the Ashling Murphy murder trial has heard Jozef Puska told Gardaí, "I am the murderer".
The 33-year-old of Lynally Grove, Mucklagh, Co. Offaly, denies the schoolteacher's murder along the banks of the Grand Canal in Tullamore on January 12th, 2022.
This morning, Detective Sergeant Brian Jennings from Birr Garda Station gave evidence of two interactions he had with Mr Puska while he was at St James’s Hospital on January 14th, 2022.
In the first interaction, Det Sgt Jennings said they spoke to Mr Puska about being driven up to Dublin, and a taxi trip to Blanchardstown where Mr Puska claimed he was attacked by two men.
Here, he told the jury that Jozef Puska was speaking freely, that an interpreter struggling to keep up with him and that he was fully awake and engaging.
Later that evening, Det Sgt Jennings re-entered the hospital with another colleague who had a search warrant.
They arranged an interpreter and det Sgt Jennings said the murder of Ashling Murphy was on the warrant.
Det Sgt Jennings then said it was here that Mr Puska asked if he was a suspect.
He said that, later through the interpreter, Mr Puska said: “I did it, I murdered, I am the murderer.”
Det Sgt Jennings said he offered Mr Puska a solicitor, which he accepted.
He said Mr Puska went on to ask if his name or address would be published – and whether his family was safe.
The jury of nine men and three women heard he had been cautioned while making these statements.
The trial continues this afternoon.