Double murder suspect to face trial in Dublin

Double murder suspect to face trial in Dublin

Irish Garda patrol car Credit: D464-Darren Hall/CC BY 2.0 Wiimedia commons

After eight years on the run double murder suspect Ruth Lawrence is being brought back to Dublin for trial.

Ms Lawrence aged 42 has been in custody in South Africa for six and a half months. She was arrested in October 2022 by a team of South African police officers called The Hawks.

Detectives from Dublin are due to fly out soon to bring her back to the city now the extradition papers have been signed.

She is accused of killing Eoin O’Connor, 32 and Anthony Keegan, 33 with her South African boyfriend, Neville van der Westhuizen.

Westhuizen is currently serving 15 years in a South African jail for the culpable homicide of a teenager (culpable homicide is an unlawful act that results in death but is not regarded as murder)

Once he has served his sentence, he too will be extradited to Ireland to face trial for the murders of O’Connor and Keegan.

The incident took place in 2004 when the two men, thought to be part of a Dublin drugs gang visited the couple to collect a debt for drugs. As a result, the two men were shot and killed.

Lawrence and Westhuizen then fled to South Africa, but the pair ended their relationship in 2015. Whilst in South Africa Lawrence dyed her hair and continued with her profession as a tattoo artist.

However last year (2022) the Irish Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) issued a new arrest warrant and made further efforts to trace the couple.

When she was arrested Lawrence requested that she stand trial in Ireland and so extradition proceedings were commenced.

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Written by

Julia Cameron

Julia is an ex-pat writer from Brighton living in a small village close to the Andalucian town of Priego de Cordoba. When she's not working she enjoys reading, tracing her ancestry and swimming. She especially loves the summer when she can get down to the coast and chill on the beach.