Suspects had cell meeting
Murder trial hears that siblings Keith and Janice Brady had meeting in cell during their arrest for murder in move described as 'most unusual' in court
During their arrest on suspicion for the murder of Martin Kivlehan (59), brother and sister, Janice and Keith Brady were allowed see each other in a cell at Sligo Garda Station, the Central Criminal Court was told.
A leading member of the investigation team told the court that Janice Brady was in a distressed condition and had repeatedly asked to see her brother.
Keith Brady (30) of Cartron Estate, denied the murder of Martin Kivlehan at his home at 1 New Apartments, Holborn Street on August 2nd/3rd 2015 but admitted manslaughter, a plea rejected by the prosecution.
Mr Kivlehan, a musician and carpenter, was found dead in his apartment on the afternoon of the Bank Holiday (Aug 3rd) with two stab wounds to either side of his neck. Both of the Bradys had been in the deceased's apartment on the Sunday.
Janice Brady (28) was arraigned before the Central Criminal Court last week where she pleaded guilty to impeding the apprehension or prosecution of her brother between August 2nd and August 3rd, 2015 knowing or believing that the man was guilty of a killing.
In this case, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy ordered a probation report and remanded her in custody for sentencing.
On day six of Keith Brady's trial before a jury of seven women and five men and Mr Justice Paul McDermott, the court was told of the meeting between the brother and sister during their detention at Sligo Garda Station on the morning of August 5th.
Superintendent Jim Delaney, stationed in Longford, was Detective Inspector based in Sligo at the time of the death of Mr Kivlehan and was attached to the senior crime investigation division in Sligo/Leitrim.
Supt Delaney said he had been appointed as senior investigating officer on the case along with Detective Superintendent O'Reilly from the Northern Region.
He was aware that the Bradys were in custody having been arrested under his direction for the murder of Mr Kivlehan. Janice was arrested by Sergeant Pat Harney and Keith by Inspector Tom Colsh.
On the morning of August 5th Supt Delaney said he was in Sligo Garda Station passing through the ground floor when Janice Brady, having a cigarette break, asked to speak to him.
"She called on me as I passed by," said Supt Delaney. She had sought him out.
"It was uncanvassed by me," he said.
The member in charge of the station at time, Garda Joe Evans was present. Janice Brady expressed concern for her brother and said she wanted to talk to him.
She had made a number of enquiries during the night regarding her brother.
"She was distressed and concerned as a sister for her brother," said Supt Delaney.
He told her that he would consider her request and discuss the matter with the member in charge.
Supt Delaney said he deemed it appropriate to allow the visit take place as long as a Garda was present at all times during it.
Mr Brendan Grehan SC (defending) with Mr Keith O'Grady BL asked the Superintendent to read out the full account from his notebook of the encounter with Janice Brady and this was done.
Supt Delaney described how Ms Brady was emotional and had spoken about her chaotic life while she also mentioned her son. They discussed "general life topics."
She requested to talk to her brother. She was distraught.
Supt Delaney said Janice and Keith Brady were very close.
"She looks after him even though he is older than her," he said.
Supt Delaney also stated that Janice Brady said she wanted her brother to tell the truth. She expressed fear about going to jail and stated that she did not kill Mr Kivlehan though she was there when he was killed.
She was worried that her brother might not tell the truth. She also told the Superintendent that she had to think of her future with her son.
"I believed there was no hidden agenda in the request from her and the presence of a Garda I felt would ensure the integrity of the visit," said Supt Delaney. He said he canvassed the views of the investigating members on the matter but added that ultimately the decision rested with him.
It was put to the witness by Mr Grehan that such a visit was not usual.
"It was not something I considered lightly," replied Supt Delaney.
He added that he told Garda Danny Grimes that the visit was to be terminated if there was any attempt by either of the Bradys to influence each other. The Garda was instructed to be within ear shot of the two.
Garda Joe Evans told the trial that he was the member in charge and became aware that a meeting between the Bradys was to take place.
In the custody record at 9.32am he noted that the prisoner (Keith Brady) requested to speak with his sister. This was acceded to on the basis that it was to be supervised by Garda Grimes.
In reply to Mr Justice McDermott, Garda Evans said the request to meet came from Keith Brady and not his sister.
The witness agreed with Mr Grehan that Janice Brady was brought to her brother's cell for the visit under the supervision of Garda Grimes.
Garda Evans agreed he had a conversation with Supt Delaney regarding the visit but no record of this conversation was taken.
"I recall meeting the DI in the corridor...he's very hands-on," said Garda Evans.
Questioned further on who had sought the meeting, Garda Evans said he was confident that the request had come from Keith Brady and not Janice.
"My understanding is that the prisoner requested to speak to her," he said.
"Did you go to him and ask him if he wanted a visit?" - Mr Grehan.
"I would have visited the prisoner" - Garda Evans. He stated that he was "one hundred per cent confident in my record" of who requested the visit.
He understood there was a difference in accounts. He said he did not have any record of Janice Brady wanting to see her brother.
The visit took place in Keith Brady's cell which would suggest the visit had been made at the request of his sister, said Mr Grehan.
He described as highly unusual that two people would visit one another while both in custody for murder.
Garda Danny Grimes (pictured left), in evidence, said he began duty at 7am on August 5th and he was to assist the member in charge in dealing with the two prisoners. At 9.32am he supervised a visit between the brother and sister having been asked to do so by Supt Delaney.
Janice Brady was happy for the witness to supervise the visit, the request for which to the witness's recollection, had been made by her.
Garda Grimes said he stood inside the door of the cell. The Bradys were sitting down on the bunk bed.
"The majority of things I heard," he said. He was there to ensure that nothing untoward was said between them. He didn't take any notes of what was said.
Janice told her brother she loved him and they expressed concern for each other's welfare, whether they had slept, eaten and taken their medications.
Janice Brady told her brother to tell the truth. She also stated that she "would be sixty before I get out."
The two also spoke about CCTV coverage which had been shown to them and Garda Grimes heard Keith Brady say he would have to speak to his solicitor.
The visit lasted for ten minutes. They also had whispered to each other. They both thanked him for the visit.
In reply to Mr Grehan, Garda Grimes said he had been told by Supt Delaney to ensure the visit didn't hinder the investigation.
When CCTV was mentioned Garda Grimes said he was asked for his opinion and he had replied: "The truth is all we are looking for."
Garda Grimes said he could not recall what Keith Brady had said in reply to him on this or what he said when his sister mentioned she would be 6o-years old when she gets out.