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Aaron Brady’s Appeal Rejected, Conviction Stands

Aaron Brady’s Appeal Rejected, Conviction Stands

Aaron Brady’s Appeal Rejected, Conviction Stands

Aaron Brady has failed to overturn his conviction for the capital murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe. The Court of Appeal rejected nearly 50 grounds of appeal presented by Brady’s lawyers during a seven-day hearing last October. The three-judge panel described the case as “one of the longest ever” before the court.

Mr. Justice John Edwards summarized the extensive 363-page judgment, which dismissed all grounds of appeal. Among these was a claim by Brady’s lawyers that his trial’s integrity was compromised when key witness Molly Staunton, testifying via video link from New York during the Covid-19 crisis, was interrupted by an unseen man who told her to “stop it right now” before the video link was abruptly cut. Brady’s lawyers argued this incident warranted a retrial.

Rejecting this claim, Mr. Justice Edwards stated that the interruptions did not pose “a real and substantial risk of an unfair trial.” He noted that the trial judge had properly instructed the jury on the incident, attributing the interruptions to the witness’s boyfriend. Ms. Staunton had testified that Brady confessed to feeling guilty about murdering a cop in Ireland and had boasted about being “the most feared man in Ireland” during a drunken rant.

Brady, now 33, appeared in court wearing a navy suit and pink tie. He did not react as Mr. Justice Edwards confirmed that the jury’s verdict would stand.

Brady, formerly of New Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, is serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 40 years, following his conviction for the murder of Det Gda Donohoe at Lordship Credit Union in Bellurgen, Co Louth, on January 25, 2013. He was also sentenced to 14 years for robbery, to be served concurrently with his life sentence. Det Gda Donohoe was ambushed and fatally shot by a five-man gang during a 58-second robbery, which yielded just €7,000 in cash.

Brady’s trial was the longest murder case in Irish legal history, spanning 122 court days. He was found guilty by an 11 to one majority jury verdict at the Central Criminal Court on August 12, 2020, and received the mandatory life imprisonment sentence in October 2020. Due to the nature of the crime, involving the murder of a garda on duty, the trial judge mandated a minimum 40-year sentence.

Mr. Justice Edwards highlighted that Brady’s appeal was the longest heard by the three-judge court in its ten-year history, involving a record number of issues and resulting in a “very substantial” judgment.

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