Galway farmer reversed over aunt in ‘deliberate act of murder’, jury told

Defence counsel says prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Michael Scott murdered Chrissie Treacy

A farmer reversed over his aunt in a “deliberate act of murder out of a sense of entitlement and for revenge”, a prosecution barrister has told the Central Criminal Court.

Delivering his closing speech to the jury, Dean Kelly SC, said that Michael Scott had told big lies, little lies and enormous lies about his relationship with Chrissie Treacy (76) in the lead-up to her death and about how her decision to partition 140 acres of land they jointly owned would impact his business.

There was also, he said, evidence that Mr Scott had made “clear and direct threats” to do harm to Ms Treacy.

Before Ms Treacy was struck by an agricultural teleporter driven by the accused, Mr Kelly said she was “there to be seen” in the yard beside her home either standing still or moving “exceptionally slowly” due to her age and ill-health.


Mr Scott (58), of Gortanumera, Portumna, Co Galway, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Treacy outside her home in Derryhiney, Portumna on April 27th, 2018.

The prosecution case is that Mr Scott deliberately reversed over Ms Treacy but his lawyers have told the court that her death was a tragic accident.

Mr Kelly showed the jury photographs taken from inside the teleporter cabin which, he said, showed that Ms Treacy, wearing her light blue cardigan, would have been visible through the rear window.

The account given by Mr Scott, in which he said that he was reversing the teleporter but did not see Ms Treacy, was “self-serving, dishonest, nonsense,” Mr Kelly said.

Counsel pointed to what he called the “geometric precision” with which the teleporter ran over Ms Treacy from her right toe to her extended left hand, “crushing everything in its path” including her organs and pelvis.

“Imagine the precision of that,” he said. “How unfortunate would you have to be for that to happen by accident?”

He added: “This was a deliberate act of murder out of a sense of entitlement and revenge.”

Failed to prove

In his closing speech, Mr Scott’s counsel Paul Greene SC said the defence evidence regarding how Ms Treacy died was more persuasive than that of the prosecution. He said it raised a reasonable possibility that her death was accidental and that “in any event the prosecution has failed to prove its case” to the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt.

He asked the jury not to look at the case from the perspective that Mr Scott is a “monstrous person” but to approach the evidence coldly and without fear nor favour. He said that the important thing in the case is what Mr Scott was thinking and what his intention was when Ms Treacy died.

The prosecution, he said, had gone through Mr Scott’s account, called him a liar and went back into his history to say he is “not a nice guy” and “you should convict him of murder because of what happened on April 27th″.

He said this approach was “not an illegitimate exercise” but brought into “sharp relief what is missing in the prosecution case”.

He said the prosecution had relied on evidence that suggested the accused was “self-pitying, was whingeing and was unkind, yes, to his aunt Chrissie”.

“I respectfully suggest to you that no matter how monstrous that behaviour is, it doesn’t go to what you are about in any meaningful way.”

The evidence, he said, was brought by the prosecution to suggest that Mr Scott had a reason to kill his aunt but, counsel added: “It begs the question, why didn’t he act sooner?”

Ms Justice Caroline Biggs will deliver her charge to the 15-person jury on Wednesday. Following her charge, three jury members will be selected by lottery and discharged before the other 12 begin their deliberations.