Accused talked of ‘guilt of having murdered a cop in Ireland’ witness tells court

Trial of Aaron Brady for murder of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe hears witness by video link

Aaron Brady has pleaded not guilty to the capital murder of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe. Photograph: Collins

Aaron Brady has pleaded not guilty to the capital murder of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe. Photograph: Collins

 

The man accused of murdering Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe said he had to “carry around the guilt of having murdered a cop in Ireland,” a witness has told his murder trial.

Molly Staunton said in her direct evidence that the accused man Aaron Brady also claimed during a drunken “rant” to be “the most feared man in Ireland”. However, under cross examination defence counsel Fiona Murphy SC put it to Ms Staunton that the accused was concerned and upset that gardaí were looking for him in relation to the shooting but that he never made any admission to having carried out the shooting of Det Gda Donohoe. The witness replied: “That’s correct.”

Giving her evidence via video link from her home in New York, Molly Staunton (24) told the Central Criminal Court trial that in July 2016 Aaron Brady lived with her then boyfriend and another man in an apartment in New York. She remembered one evening Mr Brady came out of his bedroom, she thought he had been drinking. He was distressed and “ranting” about wanting to be a good father, she said.

When Brendan Grehan SC for the prosecution asked what Aaron Brady said, Ms Staunton replied: “That he had murdered someone in Ireland and he had to carry around the guilt of having murdered a cop in Ireland.”

She later said that Mr Brady was, “intoxicated and was kind of going kind of crazy, crying, going on like a huge rant.”

She added: “He said that he was in fear of the cops coming to the apartment because he shot a cop in Ireland and was worried he did not have enough money to take care of his son that he was going to be having and that he was the most feared man in Ireland.”

Ms Staunton said he was worried that he wasn’t earning enough money working in construction. She described how one of the other men in the apartment tried to calm him down and “eventually he went back into his bedroom.” She said this happened only once when she was there and that she thought Mr Brady was “fine, ok, I got on with him fine”. Later that summer the three men moved out of the apartment on 1st Avenue and she moved in with her boyfriend while Mr Brady moved in with his girlfriend. She didn’t see Mr Brady again after that.

Under cross examination Ms Murphy said that her client denies making any admission to Ms Staunton or anyone else because he did not carry out the shooting. Counsel put it to the witness that Mr Brady did not say he “killed a cop” but was upset because gardaí were looking for him in relation to the killing. The witness replied: “Yes, that was part of the reason he was upset.”

Ms Murphy continued that Irish people wouldn’t use the word “cop” and suggested that he hadn’t said he was involved in a shooting and wasn’t making an admission. Ms Staunton agreed and said that most of what she had heard came from the other two men in the apartment.

Ms Murphy said her client was worried because police were looking for him, “but he didn’t make any admission to shooting a garda”. Ms Staunton replied, “No, he did not”.

Counsel suggested her client was upset because “he was being sought by gardaí for the shooting.” The witness agreed.

When Ms Murphy said: “He never made any admission to having carried out that shooting,” the witness replied: “That’s correct.”

Aaron Brady (28) from New Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh has pleaded not guilty to the capital murder of Det Gda Adrian Donohoe who was then a member of An Garda Síochána on active duty on January 25th, 2013 at Lordship Credit Union, Bellurgan, Co Louth. Mr Brady has also pleaded not guilty to a charge of robbing approximately €7,000 in cash and assorted cheques on the same date and at the same location.

The cross examination of Ms Staunton will continue tomorrow in front of Mr Justice Michael White and the jury of six men and seven women.