| 9.2°C Dublin

Inactive phones 'unusual', murder trial told

Close

Aaron Brady has pleaded not guilty to murder and robbery

Aaron Brady has pleaded not guilty to murder and robbery

Aaron Brady has pleaded not guilty to murder and robbery

An intelligence analyst has said it was "unusual" that phones belonging to a garda murder accused and two other suspects were inactive around the time of the fatal shooting, a court has heard.

The jury in the trial of Aaron Brady (29) has been hearing evidence of mobile phone activity between the accused and a number of other people on the day of the murder.

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 Siochana acting in the course of his duty, at Lordship credit union in Bellurgan, Dundalk, Co Louth, on January 25, 2013.

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

Yesterday Edward McGoey, a civilian member of An Garda Siochana, continued giving evidence in relation to call data records.

Asked by prosecuting counsel Lorcan Staines SC if one phone going silent was of relevance, the witness said this was in itself not unusual.

Mr McGoey added that what was "unusual" on January 25 was that phones went inactive, stayed inactive and were reactivated over a very similar time period.

The jury previously heard evidence of there being no outgoing calls or texts on phones attributed to Mr Brady and two other suspects, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in the hour before or after the murder.

Det Gda Donohoe was shot dead during a robbery at the credit union shortly before 9.30pm.

Contact

The court also heard that phone activity over the month of January between the accused and two alleged accomplices, Suspect A and Suspect B, was charted and compared.

Mr McGoey said he believed this was done because "Mr Brady said he barely knew" Suspect B and that he was "a friend of a friend, that friend being" Suspect A.

The witness said the data showed that Mr Brady had been in contact with Suspect B on more days than Suspect A in January 2013.

The court also heard that between January 1 and 25, Mr Brady made or received an average of 22 calls a day, and that this increased to 48 calls the day after the murder.

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

Mr Justice Michael White notified the jury that there may be an issue in relation to the length of time the court will sit as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. He said that he would update them on the situation.