A witness in the trial of a man charged with murdering a garda, who was giving evidence by video link from her New York home, was today interrupted by an unseen man who told her: "Put a stop to it. You can stop it right now. No more testimony."
Molly Staunton (24) was giving her second day of evidence in the trial of Aaron Brady who denies murdering Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe in 2013.
When Ms Staunton was being questioned by prosecution counsel Brendan Grehan SC about what Mr Brady said in her presence at a house in June or July 2016 Ms Staunton was about to reply when she turned to someone behind her camera and said: "Can you leave?"
A male voice could be heard saying, "You fuck off" and then "Put a stop to it, you can stop it right now, no more testimony."
The camera went down and the feed appeared to be cut off before Mr Justice Michael White asked the jury of six men and seven women to leave the court.
When the jury returned Ms Staunton told Mr Grehan that she had been interrupted but her apartment is now empty and she was happy to proceed.
Mr Grehan again asked her what she remembered Mr Brady saying one evening at an apartment in June or July 2016. She told him that Mr Brady said he wanted to be a good father to his son, that there were "cops looking for him and possibly raiding the apartment."
'I stand by my statement'
She added: "As far as him killing a cop, I can't say he admitted to it." She said she was sorry and she knows she said it in her statement but added: "I can't remember" and that she couldn't say if he "outwardly admitted that".
She continued that she understands she told gardaí Mr Brady said he killed a garda and that her memory may have been fresher when she made her statement in 2017 but she added: "I can't recall if that was true or not, I can't remember it".
Mr Grehan then played a video of Ms Staunton giving her statement to gardaí at a precinct in New York on August 29, 2017. In the video Ms Staunton could be heard saying: "He definitely said it himself that he murdered the cop or the detective."
Having watched the video Ms Staunton said: "Now that I have seen the video I stand by my statement of what I said. He did say he killed a cop."
Ms Fiona Murphy SC for the defence asked Ms Staunton who was it that was in her apartment. She said it was a friend that she is currently staying with. She said that she had closed down her computer herself because she wanted privacy. She added: "I didn't want them in the same room."
Ms Murphy asked the witness if, when she spoke to Mr Grehan, she meant that she remembers hearing what Mr Brady said or if she remembers telling the gardaí about what Aaron Brady said.
She responded: "I remember it happening and I remember telling the guards."
Aaron Brady (28) from New Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh has pleaded not guilty to the capital murder of Det Gda Adrian Donohoe who was then a member of An Garda Siochana on active duty on January 25, 2013 at Lordship Credit Union, Bellurgan, Co Louth. Mr Brady has also pleaded not guilty to a charge of robbing approximately €7,000 in cash and assorted cheques on the same date and at the same location.
Me Justice White told the jury to return on Tuesday afternoon.