Adrian Donohoe murder accused says he cannot place raiders’ accents
Aaron Brady tells court his phones were inactive because he was laundering diesel
Aaron Brady , of Monog Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh. File photograph: Collins
The man accused of murdering Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe has told his Central Criminal Court trial that he can’t place the accents of the raiders from a recording taken at the scene of the robbery and fatal shooting.
Aaron Brady (29) on Thursday listened to the audio footage of a voice shouting: “Give me the f***ing bag, give me the f***ing money,” which was recorded by a dashcam during the raid that left Det Gda Donohoe dead.
Brendan Grehan SC for the prosecution asked Mr Brady if he could “help us in relation to the accents.” Mr Brady said he couldn’t make the accents out, adding: “I definitely don’t recognise it. It’s very blurry.”
Mr Grehan asked if he would agree that the accent is from the Border area. Mr Brady replied: “I can’t say because I can’t make it out.”
On his third day of cross-examination Mr Brady denied stealing a car that the prosecution alleges was used in the robbery. He also rejected a suggestion by Mr Grehan that a car belonging to a suspect for the crime, in which Mr Brady may have been a passenger, drove by Lordship Credit Union earlier in the day as part of a “drive-by” in advance of the robbery.
Aaron Brady (29) 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 Siochana 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.
Mr Grehan said that mobile phone evidence shows that Mr Brady’s two phones and phones belonging to two suspects for the robbery were all inactive for roughly a two-hour period before and after the robbery at Lordship. Mr Brady said that his own phones were inactive because he was laundering diesel at that time and he could not say why the other two suspects’ phones were inactive.
Mr Grehan took the accused through a timeline of events on the day of the robbery and the days leading up to it. Using mobile phone evidence and CCTV from various locations, he asked Mr Brady to account for his movements. The accused told Mr Grehan that he couldn’t remember a lot of specifics of where he was or who he met or what vehicles he was travelling in. Mr Grehan suggested that this was one of the most important days of his life and that he would remember details.
Mr Brady replied: “To me it was a normal day. I might forget some things.” Mr Grehan told him that a garda was shot dead that day less than two kilometres from where he was staying and the following day Mr Brady lied to a garda about his movements after being stopped and questioned. Mr Grehan added: “You would remember every detail.”
The accused responded: “No you would not. Not silly things. Important things.” He added: “Nothing I’m saying is made up. I’m telling the truth.”
Mr Grehan played CCTV footage of the robbery. The time from the raiders entering the car park of Lordship Credit Union to when they drove off was less than one minute, he said, adding that it was a “slick operation”. Mr Brady said he didn’t know if it was a slick operation but accepted the raiders were gone within one minute.
When Mr Grehan showed him mobile phone evidence of numerous calls and texts between himself and the two suspects and a number of other people he said he couldn’t remember what they were about. Some he suggested could have been to see if the people wanted to meet up and he pointed out that one of the people he was in touch with had his birthday that day. He explained that text messages to his then girlfriend Jessica King saying that he had work that evening meant that he was planning on loading lorries at the diesel yard.
Mr Brady’s cross examination will continue on Friday in front of Mr Justice Michael White and a jury of six men and seven women.