Mother of brothers sentenced to life for murder of dad of two apologises to victim's family
Two brothers wept as they were sentenced to life imprisonment this morning for the murder of a gunman who shot at their home.
A third brother, who was acquitted of murder by the trial judge and pleaded guilty to impeding the investigation of a crime, will be sentenced at the end of this month.
Jason Bradley (20) and Dean Bradley (24) of Liscarne Gardens, Dublin 22 were found guilty last week of the murder of 36-year-old Neil Reilly at Esker Glebe in Lucan, Dublin on January 18, 2017. Ryan Bradley pleaded guilty to impeding the investigation into Mr Reilly's death. The boys' father Paul Bradley was found not guilty of murder by the jury last week.
During the trial it emerged that Jason Bradley inflicted seven chop wounds with a sharp weapon on Mr Reilly before Dean Bradley drove over him. Two witnesses saw him drive over Mr Reilly twice while another said she saw the car go over him three times.
At a sentence hearing in the Central Criminal Court Justice Paul Coffey said there is only one penalty to be imposed for murder and sentenced Jason and Dean to imprisonment for life. He had earlier heard from Michael Bowman SC on their behalf who said both men wished to apologise for what happened to Neil Reilly. Mr Bowman said that the boys' mother had also penned a letter to the court apologising to Mr Reilly's family for the pain and loss they suffered. She added: "We are so full of remorse".
Mr Reilly's family wrote an impact statement which was read by prosecuting counsel Paul Murray SC. They said they were left frozen, in total disbelief, unable to understand what was happening, when Neil's son Dean rang his grandmother Marian and told her: "Neil is dead, the Bradleys killed him." A father of two, his children will grow up without their dad at the important moments in their lives, their birthdays, weddings, the births of their own children. They think of their dad every day and are serving a life sentence of their own.
Neil got engaged on Christmas morning, less than one month before his "savage, barbaric, brutal murder". On the day she was due to celebrate their engagement party, Neil's fiancee attended his funeral. His death has left her numbed and broken, the court heard.
The family said that the price for murder is a life sentence and they pray that verdicts such as these will lessen the murder rate in Ireland. They went on to thank gardai, their friends and neighbours, the jury and the "courageous, brave witnesses" who gave evidence in the trial.
Speaking on behalf of Ryan Bradley, Caroline Biggs SC told Justice Coffey that Ryan is a hard-working man who is a vital part of his father's mechanic business. Throughout the trial, she said, he would attend court and then go to work. On the day he was acquitted of murder, he arrived at work within one hour of being told he could leave court.
Ms Biggs read several references from garage owners in Dublin who said Ryan is hard-working and skillful and they would not hesitate to give him a job if he needed it. A community worker who works with young offenders said the acts he committed on the day were out of character.
Ms Biggs also pointed out that her client is close to his two brothers, his best friends, and has now lost them as a result of their convictions for murder. She pointed out that he was 17 at the time and, if he had been charged with impeding an investigation rather than murder, he probably would have been dealt with as a minor. She told Justice Coffey that Ryan was not involved in any way in the feud with Neil Reilly yet he is suffering as a result of it. There is no evidence he will likely offend again and he has no previous convictions.
The court heard that Ryan impeded the investigation by assisting his brother Dean in exchanging a car Dean had used to drive over the deceased. He also lied to gardai in a voluntary statement he gave on the day in which he denied any knowledge of what happened to Mr Reilly.
Justice Coffey said he wished to consider Ryan's sentence and remanded him on bail until July 31.