Wednesday 23 January 2019

Murder accused told gardai masked man came to his home and fired bullet that 'whizzed past his head', trial hears

Neil Reilly
Neil Reilly

Eoin Reynolds

A murder accused told gardai that a masked man came to his home and fired a shot that "whizzed" past his head, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Paul Bradley, who denies murdering Neil Reilly, told gardai he tried to go after the shooter, to find out who was responsible, but didn't find him. Mr Reilly's body was found at Esker Glebe shortly after the shotgun attack. He had suffered multiple chop injuries to the head, limbs and torso and crush injuries to his pelvis that a pathologist said indicate that he was run over and dragged by a vehicle.

Mr Bradley (54) and his sons Jason (20), Dean (24), and Ryan (18), of Liscarne Gardens, Dublin 22, have all pleaded not guilty to the murder of Neil Reilly (36) at Esker Glebe in Lucan, Dublin on January 18, 2017.

Sergeant Maeve Ward told prosecuting counsel Paul Murray SC that Paul Bradley gave a statement to gardai at Ronanstown Garda Station on January 18. The mechanic told gardai that he was at home, sleeping on the couch when at about 3.50am he heard an "unmerciful bang". He went outside and saw a man wearing a ski-mask with a shotgun in his hand. When the man saw him he fired and Mr Bradley ducked behind a wall. "I felt it whizz past me," he said.

He further told gardai that he believed his house was targeted because of "something Jason may be involved in".

The shooter then got into a white van and drove off. Mr Bradley and his son Jason got into Paul Bradley's jeep and drove around looking for the van but Mr Bradley said they didn't see it again so they returned home.

Paul Bradley pleaded not guilty to murdering Neil Reilly
Paul Bradley pleaded not guilty to murdering Neil Reilly

Earlier, Garda Tomás Barrett told Mr Murray that he was patrolling the Lucan area on the night when he saw a light-coloured Mercedes 4x4 driving at speed on the Griffeen Valley Road. Gda Barrett and his colleague tried to follow the jeep but lost it. They then headed to the Bradley home where there had been reports of shots fired. When he arrived Gda Barrett saw a jeep that he believed to be the same one he saw earlier.

The engine and tyres were warm, he said, indicating it had been driven at speed. There was damage to the front of the car, the driver's side headlight was broken and there was blood on the driver's side panel and front wheel.

When giving his statement to gardai Mr Bradley explained the damage to his jeep saying he had been in an accident earlier that day which he did not report to gardai.

Detailing her involvement on the night, Sgt Ward told Mr Murray that she called to the Bradley home following reports of a shot being fired there. When she arrived the only person home was Dean Bradley's girlfriend who let Sgt Ward in and spoke with her for some minutes about the shooting.

Sgt Ward noted that the sitting room window was broken and there was glass on the floor. At about 4.15am Jason Bradley came into the kitchen wearing only a pair of black shorts. His legs were dirty, and he had what looked like dried blood on his bare feet. He had a deep cut to his hand which was bleeding heavily. He ran it under a tap and then wrapped a kitchen towel around it. Paramedics arrived at the scene and took Jason Bradley to Tallaght Hospital for treatment.

When Sgt Ward went outside she also noted the jeep with the damage to the driver's side. She said the jeep had not been there when she first arrived.

Accused of a ‘brutal’ murder are Paul, Ryan (pictured), Dean and Jason Bradley
Accused of a ‘brutal’ murder are Paul, Ryan (pictured), Dean and Jason Bradley

The trial continues in front of Justice Paul Coffey and a jury of six men and six women.

Jason Bradley (20) pleaded not guilty to murdering Neil Reilly
Jason Bradley (20) pleaded not guilty to murdering Neil Reilly

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