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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020

Youngest of three brothers accused of Dublin murder acquitted before jury begin deliberations

Ryan Bradley’s father Paul is also on trial for the alleged murder of Neil Reilly in Lucan in January 2017.

Image: Shutterstock/Billion Photos

THE YOUNGEST OF three brothers on trial with their father accused of murder has been acquitted by direction of the judge.

Following the decision 18-year-old Ryan Bradley walked free from court after six weeks on trial accused of taking part in the alleged murder of a gunman who fired two shots at his home in the early hours of the morning.

Paul Bradley (54) and his sons Jason (20), and Dean (24) of Liscarne Gardens, Dublin 22, remain on trial having pleaded not guilty to the murder of Neil Reilly (36) at Esker Glebe in Lucan, Dublin on 18 January 2017.

Justice Paul Coffey this morning told the jury of six women and five men that when they receive the issue paper he will ask them to enter a verdict of “not guilty by direction of the trial judge” in relation to Ryan.

‘Separate’ cases

Justice Coffey has almost completed his charge to the jury, in which he explained that although the remaining accused men are on trial together, they must be considered separately.

Going through each case, he said Jason Bradley accepts that he inflicted the seven fatal chop wounds to Neil Reilly’s head, arms and torso.

While the judge said the jury may therefore find that Jason Bradley unlawfully killed Neil Reilly, if he was provoked to the point where he lost 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 Reilly – Jason owed the deceased more than €9,000 for a drug debt.

They must also consider that Reilly fired two shots at the Bradley home, both of which, Justice Coffey said, could have been lethal.

The time from the shooting to the assault is about ten minutes and so they 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 the deceased had a crushed pelvis consistent with being run over and that this contributed to his death. The prosecution says that this was deliberate and that Dean Bradley drove over the deceased more than once.

The defence says it was an accident, he drove over him only once and it happened because Dean Bradley has poor eyesight and Reilly was lying in the road when Dean’s BMW arrived at speed.

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 Reilly with the intention to kill or cause serious harm, they must convict him of murder.


Paul Bradley has admitted to following Neil Reilly’s Mazda in a jeep with Jason as his passenger.

The Mazda crashed and Bradley got out of his jeep and kicked the deceased who was, at that moment, involved in an “altercation” with Jason. This happened before the arrival of Dean Bradley’s BMW.

The prosecution case against Paul Bradley, Justice Coffey said, is that he didn’t do anything to directly cause Reilly’s death but he 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 his death, however great or small.

The shared intention does not have to be written down or stated out loud. It can arise without any words being spoken and can be reached just before or during the commission of a crime, Justice Coffey explained.

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.

Justice Coffey urged them to be cautious about finding him guilty just for bringing Jason to the scene because the pursuit of Neil Reilly’s Mazda does not imply the necessary intent.

After a six-week trial, the jury will begin considering their verdicts tomorrow.

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About the author:

Eoin Reynolds

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