A murder accused asked to make a statement to a garda while in prison, where he admitted that he stabbed a popular local musician and apologised for his action, his trial has heard
Keith Brady, 32, of Cartron Estate, Sligo is charged with murdering Martin 'Matt' Kivlehan on August 2nd or 3rd, 2015, at Mr Kivlehan's home at New Apartments, Holborn St, Sligo. Mr Brady has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.
Yesteday at the Central Criminal Court, Dara Foynes SC, for the State, read out interviews that Mr Brady gave to gardai on August 5th, 2015 and November 9th, 2015.
In the August interviews, Mr Brady admitted to stabbing Mr Kivlehan and apologised for his actions.
However, in the November interviews, the accused said he couldn’t recall what happened at Mr Kivlehan’s home and denied stabbing Mr Kivlehan.
The court heard that in December 2015, Mr Brady approached a prison officer in Castlerea Prison in Roscommon and said he wished to speak to Sgt Martin McHale, who had previously interviewed Mr Brady.
Sgt McHale subsequently went to Castlerea Prison on December 12th, 2015 and Mr Brady made a statement.
The sergeant told defence barrister Kenneth Fogarty SC today that he was “surprised” to learn that Mr Brady wished to speak to him:
It’s something that in my almost 20 years as a garda had ever happened before
Paul Murray SC, for the State, read out the statement Mr Brady made in Castlerea Prison. In it, Mr Brady said: “This is about me getting it off my chest and telling the truth.”
“This has been killing me inside,” he said, adding that he hadn’t been able to sleep.
The court heard that, in the statement, Mr Brady recalled how he and his sister Janice Brady called to Mr Kivlehan’s home on August 2nd, 2015, after they had been drinking cans of beer and stole two bottles of wine.
He said they were all sitting around drinking and that Mr Kivlehan was “getting narky” but Mr Brady said he “didn’t think much of it”.
The accused described the moment he “ended up stabbing” Mr Kivlehan to be “like a freak moment”.
He said he stabbed him in the neck and he couldn’t believe it. He added that he couldn’t recall much but he could just remember blood coming down Mr Kivlehan’s left side.
Mr Brady said: “I think he was half-ways between sitting and standing when it happened” before adding, “I can still see his face”.
The accused said he couldn’t explain how the knife came to be in his hand and said, “I just want to say I didn’t mean for it to happen”.
I’m so sorry for Matt and for his family.
He said that his sister went into “total shock” after the incident and that he wasn’t 100 per cent sure, but he thought he and Janice placed Mr Kivlehan on the floor “to see if we could do anything”.
Mr Brady said they got a duvet from the couch and put it over Mr Kivlehan.
He said Janice put a knife to Mr Kivlehan’s neck.
The accused said he and his sister smoked heroin in Mr Kivlehan’s apartment before they left and walked towards a derelict house and, subsequently, to a metal container.
In the statement, Mr Brady said he had a message for Mr Kivlehan’s family.
“I never meant for this to happen and I hope me here today talking the truth might make it in some way easier,” he said.
He also said he knew the family were approaching their first Christmas without Mr Kivlehan, that this would be “so hard” and, for that, he was “so sorry”.
He added: “I want to say Janice did not harm Matt in any way.”
When Ms Foynes read out the August 5th, 2015 interviews, made in Sligo Garda Station, the jury heard that Mr Brady admitted to stabbing Mr Kivlehan and said “things just got out of control”.
He also said:
I wish I could change what happened but I know I can’t.
When asked how Kivlehan was stabbed, Mr Brady said: “I stabbed him."
He also described it as a “sporadic incident” which “just happened” and that it had ruined Mr Kivlehan’s family and his own family.
“I just lost it and stabbed him, I’m sorry,” he also said.
In the interviews of November 9th, 2015, in Ballymote Garda Station, the court heard that Mr Brady said: “I didn’t murder anyone.”
Asked if he was saying he had nothing to do with the killing of Mr Kivlehan, Mr Brady replied: “Yes”.
He said he couldn’t really remember anything from the night as he was “highly intoxicated”, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and that his mind was “all over the place”.
At one point, Mr Brady told Sgt McHale: “It’s basically a blur, a black out, a total blur.”
Asked on November 9th about the account he gave on August 5th, Mr Brady said: “I can vaguely remember, I don’t know what account you’re on about.”
He went on to tell Sgt McHale: “I told you I didn’t do it.”
Asked how he felt when he said those words, Mr Brady replied: “I feel it’s falling on deaf ears.”
The trial continues.