The court said Jozef Puska was not under the influence of drugs when he confessed to the murder

Prof Ryan gave evidence at the trial of Mr Puska, who pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ashling Murphy

Professor Michael Ryan said that in his expert opinion there was no evidence to support the suggestion that Mr Puska’s admission was related to the effects of oxycodone, a pain opioid.

Prof Ryan gave evidence at the trial of Mr Puska, who pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ashling Murphy on January 12, 2022 in Cappincur, Tullamore.

The Central Criminal Court jury previously heard that Mr Puska was taken to St James’ Hospital by ambulance shortly before lunch on January 13, 2022.

He had three 2cm wounds on his stomach and underwent keyhole surgery at around 10.25pm ​​that night.

The jury also previously heard evidence from Detective Sergeant Brian Jennings, who said Mr Puska told him shortly after 6pm on January 14, 2022: “I did it. I murdered. I am the murderer.”

Prof Ryan agreed with Anne-Marie Lawlor SC’s prosecution that he was called as an expert to give an opinion on whether there could be substances in Mr Puska’s body that could affect his confessions.

Prof Ryan said he had been provided with extensive medical records from St James’s Hospital as well as the book of evidence.

Prof Ryan agreed with Ms Lawlor that any medication, including an anesthetic, given to Mr Puska during the operation would have been completely eliminated from his body “a short time after he woke up”.

Prof Ryan also said staff in the recovery area had found Mr Puska to be alert and not in much trouble.

In the post-operative setting, pain and minimizing pain is one of the concerns, said Prof Ryan. He said Mr. Puska was given oxycodone, which is very commonly used postoperatively.

Prof Ryan said oxycodone was an opioid analgesic originally derived from the poppy plant. It was a synthetic compound that came into practice in the 1980s and 1990s. It is often used in post-operative procedures and for pain control.

Prof Ryan agreed with Ms Lawlor that all the dosages given to Mr Puska were “very much at the lower end of the scale”.

Prof Ryan said oxycodone had addictive properties and could weaken the respiratory system. Prof Ryan said other possible side effects included itching, nausea and vomiting and constipation. At higher doses, dizziness can occur, he said.

Prof Ryan said all of these side effects were dose dependent and these side effects were mainly only seen at high doses.

He agreed with Ms Lawlor that a patient could receive up to 400 mg of oxycodone per day, but that was well on the higher end of the scale.

Prof Ryan said that at 6pm on January 14, 2022, the maximum dose of oxycodone in Mr Puska’s body was 8.25 mg.

In summary, Prof Ryan said there was no evidence that Mr Puska’s admission was related to the effects of oxycodone, nor was there evidence that he was sedated.

Under cross-examination by Seoirse O Dunlaing BL, Prof Ryan accepted that he was neither a clinician nor an emergency medicine consultant.

In his evidence, Tomas Koczar told the jury that on January 18, 2022, he was asked to provide translation services at Tullamore Garda Station.

In cross-examination, Mr O’Dunlaing asked Mr Koczar if there was a crowd outside the Garda station.

Mr. Koczar said there were reporters and more people than usual present.

He agreed with Mr O Dunlaing that it was fair to say that there was a “fairly strong presence” outside the station.

The trial continues before Judge Tony Hunt and a jury of nine men and three women.

Judge Hunt told the jury there were two more prosecution witnesses and one more point of law.

He told the jury they would not be called back until 12pm tomorrow and advised them not to talk about the case. END


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