Tuesday 16 October 2018

Brady admits to the killing: 'It was panic stations'

Siblings smoked heroin in victim's apartment as he lay dead on the floor. Sorcha Crowley reports on day 7 of the trial which heard evidence of Keith Brady's confession in prison

Prison officer Colin Hennessy thought nothing of it when Keith Brady called into his office on D1 landing in Castlerea Prison on the morning of 14th December 2015.

Brady told him "his head was wrecked" and he wanted to "sort all this out now."He wanted to speak to Garda Martin McHale from Sligo Garda Station.

Colin Hennessy made the call and the next day, both Garda McHale and then Detective Sergeant Tom Colsh arrived at Castlerea Prison to talk to Brady.

He had by this point, been questioned in August and November about the murder of Holborn Hill musician Martin Kivlehan on 3rd August 2015. In August he admitted stabbing him. In November he denied everything.

Last Wednesday Inspector Tom Colsh took the witness stand at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin on day seven of Brady's murder trial.

He told Mr Paul Murray SC, prosecuting, that it was his understanding that Brady "wanted to get matters off his chest."

They were taken to a room in the prison (pictured above)where they had a one hour interview with Brady.

Insp. Colsh told the jury that the accused told them he wanted to "get all this off my chest about the murder of Matt Kivlehan."

"This is not about solicitors now. This has been killing me inside. I haven't been able to sleep," he's alleged to have said.

Brady told the two detectives that in August 2015 he was addicted to drugs.

On Sunday 2nd August, he said both he and Janice Brady, his younger sister, went up to St Joseph's Church Ballytivnan where he approached Fr Hugh McGonagle looking for money because he often gave him ¤20 or so.

However on this occasion the priest refused to give him any money. He said Janice stole some coins from the church and they brought them to Topaz petrol station on the Bundoran Road.

The shop assistant gave them ¤5 in exchange for them. They then walked to Tesco, robbed two bottles of wine and then walked to Kilgallen's Off-Licence on the Mall where they got a few cans of cider.

In his statement, Brady went on to say that he and Janice went around the back of Dr Ray Westby's GP practice on Union Street and drank the cans. They then went up the Mall and it was while they were drinking in a doorway there that Janice asked if Keith wanted to go up to visit Martin Kivlehan.

Around 9pm they knocked on his door and he let them in. It was just the three of them in his apartment.

"We started drinking and everything was normal," he told detectives.

"A couple of times we left to get heroin. Janice must have known where. We got it off Morrison. Me and Janice were sitting on the couch, we were all sitting down," he said.

Brady then said Mr Kivlehan "got grumpy" and Janice "started to get loud."

He said "Matt said 'I wouldn't touch Janice'" but I wasn't paying much heed as I was out of it."

"The two of us (Brady and the victim) ended up standing up and I ended up stabbing him.

"It was like a freak moment. It was all over in two seconds. I just recall blood coming down the left side of his chest. It wasn't meant to happen.

"All I can remember is a knife being in my hand. I can still see his face to this day. I can't recall where I got it. It was pure panic stations. I never intended going out that night and killing someone "he told Gardaí.

"Janice went into shock. We took him off the chair to see if we could do anything. We put him on the floor. I realised at this stage that he was dead. We got a white duvet from the couch and put it over him. We were both in total shock. Janice picked up a knife and put it at his neck. I don't know how long we stayed there after, it was like a different world. Janice got a bit of heroin after that and we smoked it there," he said.

Brady went on to describe their movements after they left: down to a derelict building in Finisklin, smoked more heroin there, found some clothes in a 'mountain of clothes' in a container and changed their clothes. He also remembered smoking heroin in the train station toilets.

Brady then asked Gardaí to pass a message on to Martin Kivlehan's family: "I never meant for any of this to happen. I know this is the first Christmas and it's going to be so hard. Janice didn't harm Matt in any way,"he added.

He said that he hoped his telling the truth would help the Kivlehan family.

A file was then sent to the DPP.

Almost a year later, on 24th November 2016 Inspector Colsh arrested Keith Brady for the offence of murder. After he was cautioned he replied: "I just want to say that I'm very sorry for what happened. I never meant for any of this to happen and to this day I still don't know what went wrong."

Under cross-examination by Mr Brendan Grehan SC for the defence, Insp. Colsh said Brady's confession in Castlerea "certainly made some things clearer. It confirmed a lot of stuff we had."

Jury reduced

The jury of seven women and five men was reduced to 11 on Day 7 of the murder trial (Wednesday 22nd November).

When the trial opened before Mr Justice Paul McDermott that morning, the jury forewoman indicated that a female member would not be available to attend the trial from November 23rd.

When asked why not by the judge, the woman said she had a flight to the UK booked for November 23rd for a trip to Bath, Somerset, until the following Monday night 27th November.

Both the Prosecution and Defence teams took instructions on the matter, which delayed proceedings by an hour. Both then indicated they would be happy to continue with an 11-member jury.

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