herald

Thursday 22 November 2018

Lawyer insists 'revved up' murder accused is guilty of manslaughter

Paul Bradley (54) and his sons have all denied murder
Paul Bradley (54) and his sons have all denied murder
Jason Bradley (20), along with his father and two brothers, of the murder of Neil Reilly.
Dean Bradley (24) is charged, along with his father and two brothers, of the murder of Neil Reilly.
Ryan Bradley (18 is charged, along with his father and two brothers, of the murder of Neil Reilly in January 2017.

One of the men on trial for the murder of Neil Reilly should be found guilty of manslaughter but not murder, a court has been told.

Jason Bradley, accused with his father and two brothers, had lost all self-control when he chopped the deceased seven times with a sharp object, his lawyer claimed to the Central Criminal Court.

Prosecutors argued that Jason, who owed Mr Reilly €9,000 for drugs, saw his debt reduce with every blow until the man was dead and his debt gone.

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 Mr Reilly (36) at Esker Glebe in Lucan, Dublin, on January 18, 2017.

Provoked

Michael Bowman, Jason Bradley's lawyer, asked the jury to find his client guilty of manslaughter, not murder, on the grounds that the deceased provoked him to the point where he lost all self-control.

He said the jury must consider what happened from Mr Bradley's point of view, a 19-year-old boy in debt to a drug dealer who has burgled his home, threatened him and, on the night, fired two shots at his house.

He said it is a struggle to suggest any person acting in their right mind would have inflicted the injuries Mr Reilly suffered.

Murder victim Neil Reilly was run over, kicked and cut by assailants on January 18 last year
Murder victim Neil Reilly was run over, kicked and cut by assailants on January 18 last year

He further rejected the suggestion by the prosecution this was a cold and calculated act, and that with every blow struck, Jason was reducing his drug debt.

He asked them to look at the events at Esker Glebe in the context of everything that had happened and with Jason's knowledge of what Mr Reilly was capable of, a man who intended to cause serious harm to him and his family.

When Jason Bradley got out of his father's car, he could have expected Mr Reilly or his companion to be armed with a shotgun and prepared to use it.

"What would the mindset be to charge headlong into that environment?" the lawyer asked. Jason was "revved up on adrenaline in a situation rapidly spiralling out of control."

Mr Bowman said it is fanciful to suggest he was engaged in a vigilante exercise of debt forgiveness. He took a life but had lost all self-control and should be found guilty of manslaughter, Mr Bowman concluded.

Brendan Grehan, for Paul Bradley, said his client, "is not a murderer and didn't murder anyone".

He is responsible for bringing his son Jason to Esker Glebe and must live with that, he said, but to find him guilty of murder would be to make him responsible for Jason's actions.

Paul Bradley admits he drove after the deceased and kicked Mr Reilly while he was fighting with Jason.

Mr Reilly did not die from a kick, he said, and there is no evidence that Paul Bradley did anything more than that.

He must take moral responsibility for bringing his son to Esker Glebe, but not legal culpability, Mr Grehan said. He asked the jury to acquit Paul.

During the two-month trial, the jury heard Jason Bradley had owed Mr Reilly for drugs and that Mr Reilly had previously broken into the Bradley home looking for his money.

He also called to Jason's workplace to "put a word on him".

On the night he died, Mr Reilly fired two shots at the Bradley home leading to a car chase that ended with his death from several chop injuries inflicted by Jason Bradley to his head, body and arms, and crush injuries from being run over by a car driven by Dean Bradley.

Caroline Biggs, for Ryan Bradley, will deliver her closing to the jury of six women and five men on Monday.

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