Ashling Murphy: man charged in connection with teacher’s killing

·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

A 31-year-old man has been charged in connection with the murder of schoolteacher Ashling Murphy in Ireland.

Jozef Puska, who appeared in court in a grey tracksuit, was remanded in custody at Cloverhill prison after a brief hearing at a special sitting of Tullamore district court on Wednesday evening.

The 23-year-old schoolteacher was allegedly attacked and strangled while out jogging on a canal path near Tullamore in the Irish midlands last Wednesday.

Puska, of Lynally Grove, Tullamore, County Offaly, was heckled by a large crowd that gathered outside the court as he was taken away in a Garda van.

He had been arrested on Tuesday after being discharged from hospital in Dublin where he had presented himself with injuries the day after her death.

Jozef Puska (second left), 31, is led in to Tullamore District Court where he is charged with the murder of Irish teacher Ashling Murphy.
Jozef Puska, 31, is led in to Tullamore District Court where he is charged with the murder of Irish teacher Ashling Murphy. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

A second man, who was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of withholding information from the police, has been released without charge.

Gardaí say a file will be prepared for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

During the hearing DS David Scahill gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution of Puska.

Scahill said Puska had replied “no” when charged and cautioned earlier.

Eoin Lysaght, defending, applied for legal aid and for the services of an interpreter for all subsequent hearings and consultations.

He told judge Catherine Staines that the accused was a Slovakian national who was on €200 a week and gave the court a statement of his means.

Staines remanded Puska in custody to appear again at Clover Hill district court on 26 January.

Murphy, 23, was killed on 12 January as she jogged along the banks of a canal.

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