Siblings were living 'a chaotic life' trial is told
Garda Sergeant Martin McHale, who has been stationed in Sligo since 2011, told the murder trial of Keith Brady that he and his sister had become inter dependent.
The Sergeant agreed with a suggestion from defence counsel, Brendan Grehan SC that Brady and his sister, Janice, were leading a chaotic life at the time of Martin Kivlehan's killing. They were homeless, were begging and stealing in order to feed their drug habits.
The witness told the trial last Thursday, day eight, that he had sat in on the nine interviews which were conducted with Keith Brady since his arrest for the murder of Mr Kivlehan in August 2015.
"Yes, it would be fair to say I had spent a lot of time with him by that stage," said Sgt. McHale, referring to the accused's last interview which was given at his request in Castlerea Prison on December 15th 2015.
Sgt McHale said that he had met with Janice (28) and Keith Brady (30) on occasions over his time in Sligo. He agreed with Mr Grehan that he was aware the accused was a heroin addict and that he was also abusing other substances as well. It was fair to say that he had come to Garda attention through his involvement in crime as a result of his addiction. His sister too was addicted.
Sgt McHale stated that "essentially it had come to the point where they were inter dependent." They appeared to be exceptionally close. The sergeant agreed that the final interview given by Brady in Castlerea had mirrored objectively all the things which the Gardaí had got themselves.
Mr Grehan took the sergeant through the interview in which Brady described how on Sunday August 2nd they had gone to Mass at St Joseph's Church in Ballytivnan and had asked Fr Hugh McGonagle for €20 which was refused.
Janice had then gone into a back room at the church and stolen some foreign coins which they tried to get changed into euro at the Topaz garage nearby. They then walked to town where Janice stole two bottles of wine from Tesco.
They also called into Kilgannon's off-licence on The Mall where they bought cans which they drank from. Janice later suggested they call to Mr Kivlehan's house. They got there around 9pm and knocked on the door. Mr Kivlehan invited them in and there was no one else there. They began drinking with him and listening to music. They left a couple of times during the night to get heroin from 'Mooch' Morrisson having rang him from Mr Kivlehan's phone.
CCTV from the Healthwise Pharmacy at Connaughton Road showed the Bradys adjacent to Mr Kivlehan's home at 4.18am.
Brady went to tell the Gardaí that he didn't know to this day why he had stabbed Mr Kivlehan. Sgt McHale agreed Brady telling them he had stabbed Mr Kivlehan in the neck was new having previously told them that he did so in the heart and left side chest area.
Sgt. McHale agreed that the statement tallied with external matters which the Gardaí could check and verify. The witness added that the reality was the Gardaí were relying on the accounts of the Bradys for details.