Today, the Ashling Murphy murder trial entered its twelfth day at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.
Jozef Puska, of Lynally Grove, Mucklagh, County Offaly is accused of murdering Ms Murphy and denies the charge.
To follow all things related to the trial, you can listen to Newstalk Courts Correspondent Frank Greaney's daily podcast All Rise: The Ashling Murphy Murder Trial.
Taking the stand
Today, Mr Puska took the stand for the first time and spoke for a short time about the day Ms Murphy died.
Jozef Puska's defence is going into evidence. Mr Puska himself has been called as their first witness.
He is accused of murdering Ashling Murphy along the grand canal in Tullamore last year.
— Frank Greaney (@FrankGreaney) November 2, 2023
“Through his interpreter, Mr Puska [talked about] how he left his home on his pushbike at about half past 11 that morning,” Mr Greaney told The Hard Shoulder.
“He outlined how he cycled into Tullamore town with reference to various roads, roundabouts, businesses and local landmarks.”
Mr Puska then told the court he was trying to find his brother and visited the dentist with his wife.
He was also asked if he remembered seeing a woman out walking her dog that day and he confirmed that he did.
“The jury has already heard from this woman, a witness called Anne Marie Kelly,” Mr Greaney said.
“She gave evidence to the jury earlier in the trial and it was put to Mr Puska that she was of the view that he was following her that day.
“He replied, ‘Not at all, this was not my intention at all.’
“[The lawyer] then said the CCTV shows him behind her to which he replied, ‘This is true but here was no bad intention whatsoever. I was riding the same way, I was riding all around town. I had no intention to follow anyone at all.’”
At that point the court then broke up for the day; it is expected Mr Puska will return to the witness box tomorrow morning and will finish giving his evidence.
Afterwards, the prosecution will have the opportunity to cross examine him if they wish to do so.
Main image: A candlelit display for Ashling Murphy who was killed in County Offaly. Credit: Pathos Images/Alamy Live News