herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

'I regret my moment of madness', says accused

Defendant Gerard Stevens is among seven who have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Dale Creighton
Defendant Gerard Stevens is among seven who have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Dale Creighton

One of seven Dubliners charged with murdering a man said he didn't know why he had kicked a defenceless stranger in the head three times, adding that he "just got caught up" with it.

A jury in their Central Criminal Court trial was yesterday hearing evidence of garda interviews conducted with one of the accused, Gerard Stevens, who initially denied involvement.

Dale Creighton was assaulted on New Year's Day 2014 at the footbridge over the Tallaght bypass between Saint Dominic's Road and Greenhills Road. The 20-year-old died the next day.

Bloodbath

Garda Kieran Kilcoyne testified that he arrested Mr Stevens on January 3, 2014, and interviewed him the following day.

He gave evidence of Mr Stevens' initial denials of involvement in what the accused agreed was a bloodbath of people beating a defenceless male on the ground. However, he was then shown CCTV footage of himself and others assaulting Mr Creighton on the footbridge.

"You kick him with your foot three times into the head area. Why?" he was asked. "I don't know," he replied. "I can't remember doing it."

It was put to him that he had then leaned over and hit the victim with his fist and later slapped him on the back of the head. "Why?" he was asked again. "I don't know," he said.

He said he wouldn't intentionally hurt anyone, even an animal. "I just got caught up with that," he said.

"I'm sorry for what I've done. I shouldn't have been there. It was a moment of madness, a moment I'm going to regret for the rest of my life."

A woman and six men, who are in their 20s and from Tallaght, have all pleaded not guilty to murder.

They 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), of Park Avenue, Portarlington, Co Laois; Ross Callery (23), of Gortlum Cottages, Brittas, Co Dublin; James Reid (26), of Glen Aoibhinn, Gorey, Co Wexford; Jason Beresford (23), of Coill Diarmuida, Ard a' Laoi, Castledermot, Co Kildare; and Mr Stevens (27), currently of Grosvenor Square, Rathmines, Dublin.

Each accused also initially pleaded not guilty to violent disorder. Mr Beresford later changed his plea to guilty to the violent disorder charge.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy.

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