Two had blood on clothing after assault, murder trial told

The trial of seven people charged with murder has heard that two of them had blood on their clothing shortly after a group was seen fleeing the bridge where Dale Creighton was found unconscious.

Two had blood on clothing after assault, murder trial told

Mr Creighton, aged 20, died on January 2, 2014, in hospital.

Aisling Burke, aged 23, and David Burke, aged 28, of Beechpark, Collinstown, Co Westmeath; Graham Palmer, aged 26, of Park Avenue, Portarlington, Co Laois; Ross Callery, aged 23, of Gortlum Cottages, Brittas, Co Dublin; James Reid, aged 26, of Glen Aoibhinn, Gorey, Co Wexford; Jason Beresford, aged 23, of Coill Diarmuida, Ard a’ Laoi, Castledermot, Co Kildare; and Gerard Stevens, aged 27, of Grosvenor Square, Rathmines, Dublin, have all pleaded not guilty to murder at the Central Criminal Court.

Each accused also initially pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at the footbridge that New Year’s Day.

However, Jason Beresford changed his plea on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to the violent disorder charge.

Garda Jennifer Walsh was working in Tallaght Garda Station shortly before 4am that New Year’s Day, when a call came in about an incident on the footbridge over the Tallaght bypass between St Dominic’s Road and Greenhills Road.

She testified that she began watching a live feed of what was happening in the station’s CCTV control room. She said she was able to adjust the camera and the jury was shown the footage.

“I saw a number of males and females on the bridge and a man on the ground,” she recalled.

She said she alerted a local patrol car and called an ambulance.

She said she saw her colleagues arrive and members of the group leave the bridge.

“I tried to follow them with a different camera,” she said, confirming that her focus shifted to Main St.

Garda Avril Sharpe also watched some of the live feed in the CCTV room.

She testified that she saw a number of males along with a female in a short, white jacket. She and two colleagues left for the bridge when they saw that there was a person on the ground.

She said that the group left as she and her colleagues climbed the steps of the bridge, where they saw legs hanging.

“We stopped and observed a male. He was unconscious, not responding to us and badly beaten up,” she recalled.

“His eyes were badly swollen, he had blood all over his face, blood coming from his eyes and very laboured breathing.”

A colleague stayed with the injured man while she and another garda ran after the group onto Main St.

“We observed a male and then a female turn right,” she said. “She was wearing a white, fur jacket, skirt, and runners. She was running. We followed her.

“The male came back to the female and they were holding hands,” she continued, confirming that they were walking at this stage.

“We shouted at them to stop,” she said. “They tried to flag down a taxi but it didn’t stop.” She said the two eventually stopped for them.

She said the male gave his name as Graham Palmer.

“There were blood spots on his face, which he couldn’t account for,” she said. “There was blood on the sleeves of his jacket.”

The female gave her name as Aisling Burke.

“I looked at her clothing and concluded she was the girl I had seen in CCTV,” she said. “Her runners were soaked in blood and she had muck on her jacket. She couldn’t account for the blood.”

Garda Sharpe said she informed her that she had been mugged in a park a half hour before and pointed to the muck. She arrested her for suspected assault.

The garda identified her runners in court, confirming that she had seized them due to the blood on them.

She also identified a navy jacket in court.

“That’s the jacket Graham Palmer was wearing,” she said, explaining that she had seized this due to the blood on it.

She then pointed out the people she said were Ms Burke and Mr Palmer on the footage.

The court heard that Graham Palmer was also arrested at that point and that James Reid was arrested at an address in Tallaght the following day.

The trial continues.

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