herald

Saturday 21 July 2018

Youngest Bradley brother walks free after judge directs trial jury to acquit

Ryan Bradley walked free after six weeks on trial accused of taking part in the murder of Neil Reilly
Ryan Bradley walked free after six weeks on trial accused of taking part in the murder of Neil Reilly
Paul Bradley
Jason Bradley
Dean Bradley
Neil Reilly

The youngest of three brothers on trial with their father accused of murder was acquitted by direction of the judge yesterday.

Following the decision, 18-year-old Ryan Bradley walked free from court after six weeks on trial accused of taking part in the alleged murder of a gunman who fired two shots at his home in the early hours of the morning.

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

Mr Justice Paul Coffey yesterday told the jury of six women and five men that when they receive the issue paper he will ask them to enter a verdict of "not guilty by direction of the trial judge" in relation to Ryan Bradley.

Lethal

Mr Justice Coffey has almost completed his charge to the jury, in which he said that although the remaining accused men are on trial together, they must be considered separately.

Going through each case, he said Jason Bradley accepts that he inflicted the seven fatal chop wounds to Mr Reilly's head, arms and torso.

While the judge said the jurors may therefore find that Jason Bradley unlawfully killed Mr Reilly, if he was provoked to the point where he lost all self-control they must find him not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

In assessing whether he had lost all control, they must look at his history with Mr Reilly - Jason owed the deceased more than €9,000 for a drug debt.

They must also consider that Mr Reilly fired two shots at the Bradley home, both of which could have been lethal.

The time from the shooting to the assault was about 10 minutes and so they must consider provocation in the light of the background, the shooting, the high-speed chase and the short time in which it all happened.

Dean Bradley has admitted driving a BMW which struck and went over the deceased. A pathologist said the deceased had a crushed pelvis consistent with being run over, and this contributed to his death.

The prosecution says this was deliberate and Dean Bradley drove over Mr Reilly more than once. The defence says it was an accident, he drove over him only once and it happened because Dean Bradley has poor eyesight and Mr Reilly was lying in the road when Dean arrived at speed.

Mr Justice Coffey said the jury must first consider whether Dean Bradley's driving caused the crush injuries and whether these injuries would be likely to cause death or serious injury.

Negligent

It must then consider whether this was a "pure accident", in which case they should acquit.

If the jurors find it was an accident but his driving was grossly negligent, they should find him guilty of manslaughter.

If they are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he deliberately ran over Mr Reilly with the intention to kill or cause serious harm, they must convict him of murder.

Paul Bradley has admitted to following Mr Reilly's Mazda in an SUV with Jason as his passenger. The Mazda crashed and Mr Bradley got out of his car and kicked the deceased. This happened before the arrival of Dean Bradley's BMW.

The prosecution case against Paul Bradley is that he didn't directly cause Mr Reilly's death but he was involved in a joint enterprise with Jason Bradley.

He can be convicted of murder only if the jury is satisfied that he had a shared intention with Jason Bradley to kill or cause serious injury and that he played some role in his death.

The jury will begin considering its verdicts today.

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