herald

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Witness heard sound of 'crunching bones' as car drove over dying man

Paul Bradley was roaring and shouting at a neighbour on the night that Neil Reilly died, says a witness
Paul Bradley was roaring and shouting at a neighbour on the night that Neil Reilly died, says a witness

A witness at a murder trial said she heard bones crunching and the groans of the deceased as he was twice run over by the same car.

Brenda O'Connell was giving evidence in the trial of a garage owner and his three sons who deny murdering a man after he fired shots at their home in the early hours of the morning.

Paul Bradley (54) and his sons Jason (20), Dean (24), and Ryan (18), of Liscarne Gardens, Dublin 22, have all pleaded not guilty to the murder of Neil Reilly (36) at Esker Glebe in Lucan, Dublin, on January 18, 2017.

Ms O'Connell told prosecuting counsel Paul Murray SC she woke up when she heard an altercation - and when she looked outside she saw a car in the road with the passenger door open.

Reversing

A black car approached driving slowly and then she heard a "crunching of bones" as if the car had driven over a body. The car reversed a short distance, she said, and drove over the body again.

"I heard the victim groaning and the crunching of bones," she said.

The witness also said there was "no hurry" in the car reversing and going over the man the second time.

"They took their time doing it," she said.

Colin Dardis was woken up by shouting at around 4am. When he looked outside he saw a man in a jeep, who the defence accepts was Paul Bradley. The witness said Mr Bradley was roaring and shouting in an aggressive tone at the witness's female neighbour, who was standing on the footpath shouting back.

Mr Dardis then noticed a man staggering in the middle of the road and another man came from the direction of the jeep and appeared to hit the staggering man on the top of the head with something like a piece of wood.

The man fell to his knees and Mr Dardis noticed a dark-coloured car started moving, drove towards the man and struck him.

The car stopped and while the witness couldn't be 100pc sure, he said he recalls that it reversed while the man started to crawl or tried to get up and off the road. The car then started up again and drove over the man.

Mr Dardis said: "I was horrified, terrified, in disbelief. I wasn't sure, had I seen what I had seen?"

Defence counsel Matthias Kelly SC said his client, Dean Bradley, was the driver of the dark-coloured car and put it to Mr Dardis that in fact the car drove at speed around the bend and collided with the deceased, went over him and then stopped. The witness disagreed.

Mr Kelly then called optometrist Margaret Barrett who said that she examined Dean Bradley on March 28 this year. She said his eyesight was "well below the standard for driving without glasses".

She told Mr Murray that a man kneeling at a distance could look like a blob to him. At 20 feet she said he would see it, but it would be blurred.

The trial continues in front of a jury of six men and six women.

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