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Dublin: 8°C Monday 1 March 2021

Teen receives suspended sentence for impeding investigation into murder committed by his brothers

36-year-old Neil Reilly was murdered in Lucan in January last year.

The trial heard Neil Reilly, pictured above, sustained a number of stab wounds before being run over.
The trial heard Neil Reilly, pictured above, sustained a number of stab wounds before being run over.
Image: Facebook

A TEENAGER HAS walked free from court, after receiving a suspended sentence for impeding the investigation into a murder committed by his two older brothers after the victim had shot at their home.

Ryan Bradley (18) of Liscarne Gardens, Dublin 22 had carried out the offence after his brothers, Jason Bradley (20) and Dean Bradley (24), murdered 36-year-old Neil Reilly at Esker Glebe in Lucan, Dublin on January 18, 2017.

All three were charged with murder, along with their father, Paul Bradley (54), and the four men went on trial at the Central Criminal Court earlier this year. However, towards the end of the trial, Ryan Bradley was found not guilty by direction of the trial judge and pleaded guilty to impeding the investigation of a crime.

His father was acquitted by the jury and the other two accused were convicted; they’re now serving life sentences.

The trial heard that Jason Bradley had inflicted seven chop wounds with a sharp weapon on Neil Reilly before Dean Bradley drove over him. Two witnesses saw him drive over Mr Reilly twice while another said she saw the car go over him three times.

The court heard that Ryan Bradley had impeded the investigation by assisting his brother, Dean Bradley, in exchanging the car he had used to drive over the deceased. He also lied to gardai in a voluntary statement he gave on the day, denying any knowledge of what had happened to Reilly.

‘Hardworking and skillful’

Speaking on behalf of Ryan Bradley at his sentence hearing earlier this month, Caroline Biggs SC told Justice Paul Coffey that her client was a hard-working man, who was a vital part of his father’s mechanic business.

Throughout the trial, she said, he would attend court and then go to work. On the day he was acquitted of murder, he arrived at work within one hour of being told he could leave court.

Biggs read several references from garage owners in Dublin, who said Ryan was hard-working and skillful and they would not hesitate to give him a job if needed. A community worker, who works with young offenders, said the acts he committed on the day were out of character.

Biggs also pointed out that her client was close to his two brothers, his best friends, and had now lost them as a result of their convictions for murder. She pointed out that he was 17 at the time and, if he had been charged with impeding an investigation rather than murder, he probably would have been dealt with as a minor.

She told Justice Coffey that he was not involved in any way in the feud with Neil Reilly yet he was suffering as a result of it. There was no evidence that he would likely offend again and he had no previous convictions.

‘A duty of deterrence’

Justice Coffey said yesterday that it was a matter of happenstance that he didn’t come to court when still 17. That would have required the court to have regard to the child’s best interests.

He added that the court had a duty of deterrence, but that it must have regard to his youth.

He noted that he would no-longer enjoy the friendship and support of his brothers and that he had already spent six weeks in custody.

He took into consideration his previous good character and low risk of reoffending. He imposed a five-year sentence fully suspended for 10 years on condition he keep the peace, be of good behaviour and have no contact, direct or indirect, with the Reilly family and a named associate of Neil Reilly.

The teenager then walked free from court. Reilly’s family left some time later, without making any comment.

In their victim impact statement, which was read was read to the court earlier this month by prosecuting counsel Paul Murray SC, the man’s family said they were left frozen, in total disbelief.

A father of two, his children would grow up without their Dad at the important moments in their lives: their birthdays, weddings, the births of their own children. They think of him every day, they wrote, and are serving a life sentence of their own.

Reilly had got engaged on Christmas morning, less than one month before his “savage, barbaric, brutal murder”. On the day she was due to celebrate their engagement party, his fiancee attended his funeral.

His death had left her numbed and broken, the court heard.

About the author:

Natasha Reid

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