Dale Creighton had no phone when he was found, garda testifies

Five men await sentencing for Dubliner’s manslaughter on a footbridge in Tallaght

Ross Callery, who was originally charged with murder, later pleaded guilty to Dale Creighton’s manslaughter. File photograph: Collins Courts

Ross Callery, who was originally charged with murder, later pleaded guilty to Dale Creighton’s manslaughter. File photograph: Collins Courts

 

A young man who was killed after being accused of stealing a mobile phone did not have a phone on him when he was found unconscious on a Dublin footbridge, a Garda sergeant has said.

Sgt Brian Cagney made the statement on Monday during the sentence hearing of five Dublin men who admitted to the manslaughter of Dale Creighton (20) on New Year’s morning 2014. Another man and one woman are being sentenced for lesser offences arising out of the same incident.

The seven were originally charged with murder and went on trial at the Central Criminal Court in October after pleading not guilty. Those charges were dropped on the 15th day of the trial, after the court accepted their guilty pleas to lesser charges.

Mr Creighton was assaulted at the footbridge over the Tallaght bypass between St Dominic’s Road and Greenhills Road. The court heard that there had been an allegation that Mr Creighton had stolen a woman’s mobile phone.

He died in hospital the following day. The cause of his death was blunt force injury to his head and face.

The seven accused, who are all originally from Tallaght, had rung in the new year in a local night club.

They are Aisling Burke (23) and David Burke (28), of Beechpark, Collinstown, Co Westmeath; Graham Palmer (26), of Park Avenue, Portarlington, Co Laois; Ross Callery (23), of Gortlum Cottages, Brittas, Co Dublin; James Reid (26), of Glen Aoibhinn, Gorey, Co Wexford; Jason Beresford (23), of Coill Diarmuida, Ard a’ Laoi, Castledermot, Co Kildare; and Gerard Stevens (27) of Grosvenor Square, Rathmines in Dublin.

Each accused also initially pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at the footbridge. Beresford later changed his plea and pleaded guilty to the violent disorder charge.

Mother of one

Aisling Burke, a mother of one, has now pleaded guilty to violent disorder at the bridge that New Year’s Morning. Palmer, Callery, Stevens, Beresford and David Burke pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Reid pleaded guilty to possession of a knife.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy spent Monday watching CCTV footage of the attack and listening to the Garda interviews.

Sgt Cagney testified that Mr Creighton was not known to the Garda and had no mobile phone when he was found on the footbridge.

Tony McGillicuddy BL handed in a letter on behalf of Beresford, and read out one paragraph. “To whom it may concern,” it said. “I wish to apologise most sincerely to the Creighton family for my actions. To this day, I feel sick constantly for the harm I caused to their son.”

Beresford said his actions on that morning were out of character and that he knew they had impacted on many lives.

“This does not reflect who I am as a person. I can’t make excuses for what I have done. I can only repeat how sorry I am,” the letter said.

The sentence hearing will continue on Wednesday. The judge has indicated that she will announce sentence in January.