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Trial of Garda murder accused hears evidence of mobile phone interactions on day of fatal shooting


Aaron Brady (pictured) denies the murder of Adrian Donohoe

Aaron Brady (pictured) denies the murder of Adrian Donohoe

Aaron Brady (pictured) denies the murder of Adrian Donohoe

THERE was no outgoing phone traffic on mobile numbers linked to a Garda murder accused and two other suspects in the hour before or after the fatal shooting, a court has heard.

The jury in the trial of Aaron Brady (29) has been hearing evidence of mobile phone interactions and viewing CCTV footage from the day of the killing.

The accused, of New Road in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, has pleaded not guilty to the capital murder of Adrian Donohoe (41), who was then a member of An Garda Síochána acting in the course of his duty, at Lordship credit union in Bellurgan, Co Louth, on January 25, 2013.

He also denies robbery of approximately €7,000 in cash and assorted cheques from Pat Bellew at the same location on the same date.

Det Gda Donohoe was shot dead shortly before 9.30pm that night while on a cash escort.

This morning the court heard that civilian intelligence analyst Edward McGoey charted the activity of three phone numbers attributed to the accused.

This was also done with mobile phone numbers linked to two other men who the prosecution say were involved in the credit union robbery but cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The witness gave evidence of there being a total of 24 interactions in a 40 minute period up to 8.30pm that night from mobile numbers linked to Aaron Brady, suspect A and suspect B.

An analysis of numbers associated with the accused, the court heard, showed that there was no outgoing call activity from 8.01pm until 10.45pm later that night when he attempted to phone his girlfriend.

Mr McGoey said there were ten incoming calls to Mr Brady in that time period but none of them connected.

Eight of these, the court heard, were made from a phone attributed to suspect B with the last attempt made at 8.29pm.

This was the last interaction on that individual's phone until he called Aaron Brady at 10.48pm and again ten minutes later.

These later calls, Mr McGoey said, were the last interactions on suspect B's phone for the month of January.

The court also heard that a phone linked to suspect A showed no outgoing interactions from 8pm until 10.37pm that evening when he received a phone call from his mother that lasted 48 seconds.

A chart of the mobile data was then shown to the jury and Mr McGoey agreed with Lorcan Staines SC, prosecuting, that there were no outgoing phone interactions on mobile numbers attributed to Mr Brady, suspect A or suspect B in the hours between 8.30pm and 10.30pm.

Footage taken from various locations on the day of the robbery were also played to the court.

The jury were shown footage from outside Crossmaglen police station of a dark-toned vehicle pulling up outside it at 7.20pm and a male exiting the car and entering the barracks.

Mr Staines said the jury had previously heard evidence of suspect B signing on at the PSNI station and Mr Brady made reference to dropping suspect B off at the barracks in a previous statement.

CCTV footage from Lordship credit union later showed a dark-coloured saloon vehicle travelling along the R173 before turning right onto New Road and towards the shoreline around 40 minutes before the robbery.

Det Gda Gareth Kenna said that one minute and six seconds later lights from a vehicle were visible travelling back in the opposite direction towards the R173.

Footage from the credit union car park at the time of the murder, previously seen by the jury, was also played to the court.

Video footage after the robbery from locations at Ballymacscanlon service station and Cortamlet Primary School, Newry, showing a dark-toned saloon car passing by, were also played to the court.

Justice Michael White also told jurors he was taking the opportunity to update them on advice they were given previously in terms of social media.

Mr Justice White said they should concentrate on the evidence they were hearing in the trial and not pay any attention to social media in relation to this issue.

The trial continues before a jury of six men and seven women tomorrow morning.

Online Editors