Wednesday 21 February 2018

Murder trial witness claims he saw knife in hand of the victim

Graham Palmer. Pic Collins Courts.
Graham Palmer. Pic Collins Courts.

Natasha Reid

One of the seven people on trial charged with murdering 20-year-old Dale Creighton has pleaded guilty to violent disorder on the footbridge where the deceased was assaulted, a court has heard.

A witness also told the jury that he saw a knife in Mr Creighton's hand that morning.

Gerard Stevens. Pic Collins Courts.
Gerard Stevens. Pic Collins Courts.

Dale Creighton died on January 2, 2014, about two days after an incident at the footbridge over the Tallaght bypass between Saint Dominic's Road and Greenhills Road.

Jason Beresford (23), with an address at Coill Diarmuida, Ard a' Laoi, Castledermot, Co Kildare went on trial with six others on Tuesday.

The woman and six men, who are in their 20s and from Tallaght, all pleaded not guilty to murder when arraigned before the Central Criminal Court last week. Each of the accused also pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at the footbridge that New Year's Day.

However, when the jury arrived to court yesterday morning, Mr Beresford's barrister, Mícheál O'Higgins SC, asked that his client be rearraigned on the second count against him.

James Reid. Pic Collins Courts.
James Reid. Pic Collins Courts.

Read more: Man charged with murdering Dale Creighton pleads guilty to violent disorder

Dressed in a grey suit and shirt and a navy tie, Mr Beresford stood up and pleaded guilty to violent disorder on January 1, 2014.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy told the jury that one of the counts had been disposed of and that the trial would proceed as normal.

Also charged with both offences are 23-year-old Aisling Burke and 28-year-old David Burke, both with a current address at Beechpark, Collinstown, Co Westmeath; Graham Palmer (26), with a current address at Park Avenue, Portarlington, Co Laois; Ross Callery (23), currently of Gortlum Cottages, Brittas, Co Dublin; James Reid (26) currently of Glen Aoibhinn, Gorey, Co Wexford; and Gerard Stevens (27), currently of Grosvenor Square, Rathmines in Dublin.

Witness Carl O'Leary told the court that he was on his way to get a taxi in Tallaght village some time after 3am, when he heard a commotion.

"I vaguely remember someone running past me," he recalled. "I just remember someone saying, 'Grab him. He robbed our phone,'" he testified. "I recall seeing James Reid and Ross Callery."

He said there were others, but didn't know who they were.

Mr O'Leary said that he began running down the Tallaght bypass and towards the footbridge.

He continued: "I remember seeing Mr Creighton on the bridge. I didn't know him at the time."

Under cross-examination by Brendan Grehan SC, defending Ms Burke, he agreed that he had put two and two together when he saw the person running and heard the shout about the phone. He didn't recall stopping and backing away from the man he was chasing, but identified himself doing so in CCTV footage. He said that somebody in a hoodie ran past him and he returned to his girlfriend.

Mr O'Leary said in court that he hadn't seen the knife when he backed away from the man, but had done so because he had run at him.

He confirmed to Ciarán O'Loughlin SC, defending James Reid, that he later saw Dale Creighton with a knife, but said he hadn't seen his client take the knife from him.

The trial continues before six men and six women.

Irish Independent

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