An 18-year-old who was on trial along with his two brothers and father accused of murder, has been acquitted by direction of the judge.
Ryan Bradley walked free from court on Monday after being tried for six weeks for taking part in the alleged murder of Neil Reilly (36), who fired two shots at his family's home.
Paul Bradley (54) and his sons Jason (20) and Dean (24), of Liscarne Gardens, Dublin 22, have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Reilly at Esker Glebe in Lucan on January 18th, 2017.
Mr Justice Paul Coffey told the jury of six women and five men that when they received the issue paper he would ask them to enter a verdict of “not guilty by direction of the trial judge” in relation to Ryan Bradley.
The judge has almost completed his charge to the jury, in which he explained that although the three remaining accused are on trial together, their cases must be considered separately.
He said Jason Bradley accepts that he inflicted the seven fatal chop wounds to Mr Reilly’s head, arms and torso. While the judge said the jury may therefore find that Jason Bradley unlawfully killed Mr Reilly, if he was provoked to the point of losing all self control, they must find him not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.
In assessing whether he had lost all control, they must look at his history with Mr Reilly. Jason Bradley owed the deceased more than €9,000 for a drug debt. They must also consider that Mr Reilly fired two shots at the Bradley home, both of which could have been lethal, Mr Justice Coffey said.
He noted that about 10 minutes passed between the shooting and the assault and said the jury must consider provocation in the light of the background, the shooting, the high-speed chase and the short length of time in which all these things happened.
Dean Bradley has admitted to driving a BMW which struck and went over the deceased. A pathologist told the trial that Mr Reilly had a crushed pelvis consistent with being run over and that this contributed to his death.
The prosecution says Dean Bradley deliberately drove over the deceased more than once. The defence says it was an accident and that he drove over Mr Reilly only once, which was because Dean Bradley has poor eyesight and the deceased was lying in the road when he arrived at speed.
Mr Justice Coffey said the jury must first consider whether Dean Bradley’s driving caused the crush injuries and whether these injuries would be likely to cause death or serious injury. They must then consider whether this was a “pure accident”, in which case they should acquit.
If they find it was an accident but Dean Bradley’s driving was grossly negligent they should find him guilty of manslaughter. If they are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he deliberately ran over Mr Reilly with the intention to kill or cause serious harm, they must convict him of murder.
Paul Bradley has admitted to following Mr Reilly’s Mazda in a jeep with Jason as his passenger. The Mazda crashed and Mr Bradley got out of his jeep and kicked the deceased who was, at that moment, involved in an “altercation” with Jason.
The prosecution case against Paul Bradley, Mr Justice Coffey said, is that he did not do anything to directly cause Mr Reilly’s death but was involved in a joint enterprise with Jason Bradley. He can be convicted of murder only if the jury is satisfied that he had a shared intention with Jason Bradley to kill or cause serious injury and that he played some role in Mr Reilly’s death.
If the jury is not satisfied that he intended to cause “serious injury”, but that he intended to cause an injury that is “more than trivial”, he should be found guilty of manslaughter instead of murder.
If his intention was to cause only a trivial injury, the jury must find him not guilty. They can also find him guilty of murder if, when he drove to Esker Glebe, he shared with Jason an intention to kill or cause serious injury.
The jury will begin considering its verdict on Tuesday.