Judge in capital murder trial warns jurors 'don't be on social media'
The judge presiding over the trial of a man charged with the capital murder of a garda during a credit union robbery has reminded the jury not to pay attention to social media.
Justice Michael White today (Monday) told the six men and seven women that he has mentioned it before but wished to say it again, that they are to consider only the evidence they hear in court. He added: "Don't be on social media and don't pay any attention to any social media."
Aaron Brady has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Kilnalect native, Det Gda Adrian Donohoe, who was then a member of An Garda Síochána on active duty on January 25, 2013 at Lordship Credit Union, Bellurgan, Co Louth. The 29-year-old from New Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh also denies a charge of robbing approximately €7,000 in cash and assorted cheques from Mr Pat Bellew on the same date and at the same location.
His trial at the Central Criminal Court began in January.
Policing analyst Edward McGoey and Detective Garda Gareth Kenna today took prosecution counsel Lorcan Staines SC through CCTV footage and mobile phone data of phones attributed to Mr Brady and two suspected accomplices. Mr McGoey detailed contacts between the phones in the hours and days before and after the shooting. The witness, who put together graphs and charts detailing the activity of numerous phones, said that from 20:01 on the evening of the robbery until 22.45, a period of just under two hours and 45 minutes, there were no outgoing calls or texts on Mr Brady's phone. The robbery happened at shortly before 21.30 that night.
Suspect A's phone records show no activity from 19.58 to 22.37 when he received a phone call from his mother. Suspect B's phone showed no activity from 20.29 on the same night until 22.48.
Mr McGoey also detailed 31 interactions between phones belonging to Mr Brady and the two suspects from 19.00 and 20.30 that evening and 19 interactions between 22.30 and 23.00 that night.
Detective Garda Kenna also analysed the phone data to see if there was a difference in the length and number of calls made by Mr Brady's phone on the day of the shooting compared with previous days in the same month. He found that the average length of Mr Brady's calls from January 1 to January 25 was 68 seconds. On January 26, the average call length was 134 seconds.
From January 1 to January 25 he made or received an average of 22 calls per day, the witness said. On January 26 he made or received 48 calls, more than double the average for the previous 25 days. Det Gda Kenna also went into detail about the number of interactions between Mr Brady's phones and those attributed to the two suspects throughout January 2013.
The trial continues in front of Mr Justice White and the jury of six men and seven women.