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One of Dale Creighton accused begged gardai not to tell him he was dead

CourtsBy Sunday World
Ross Callery
Ross Callery

One of seven Dubliners on trial, charged with murder, begged gardai not to tell him that the man he had kicked had died.

The jury in the Central Criminal Court trial was today hearing evidence of garda interviews conducted with one of the accused, Ross Callery.

Dale Creighton was assaulted on New Year’s Morning 2014 at the footbridge over the Tallaght bypass between Saint Dominic’s Road and Greenhills Road. The 20-year-old died in hospital the following day.

A woman and six men, who are in their 20s and from Tallaght, have all pleaded not guilty to murder.

They are 23-year-old Aisling Burke and 28-year-old David Burke, both with a current address at Beechpark, Collinstown, Co Westmeath; Graham Palmer (26) with a current address at Park Avenue, Portarlington, Co Laois; Ross Callery (23) currently of Brittas, Co Dublin; James Reid (26) currently of Glen Aoibhinn, Gorey, Co Wexford; Jason Beresford (23) with an address at Coill Diarmuida, Ard a’ Laoi, Castledermot, Co Kildare; and Gerard Stevens (27) currently of Grosvenor Square, Rathmines in Dublin.

Each accused also initially pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at the footbridge. However Jason Beresford later changed his plea and pleaded guilty to the violent disorder charge.

Detective Garda Kieran McGrath testified yesterday that Ross Callery presented himself at Tallaght Garda Station that New Year’s Night, after gardaí had failed to find him at his mother’s home.

The detective said he was interviewed a number of times about the assault on the bridge, with Mr Callery saying he had chased a man, who had stolen a phone from his friend’s little sister.

“I gave him a kick up the hole,” he said of his involvement, and was asked why.

“He was after hitting a girl and taking her phone,” he replied.

“Your man beat the sh*te out of him. It was fair enough at the start,” he said.

He was asked who ‘your man’ was.

“Some fella, who was walking around at the time,” he said.

Mr Callery said that he, himself, had kicked the injured party while he was on his hands and knees. He was asked how hard on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the hardest. He replied, seven.

He was asked at what point the fight was no longer fair.

“When he dropped,” he replied.

He later said that he had kicked him ‘a few times’ while he was on his hands and knees.

“I might have lifted him up as well,” he said. “We all whooshed him up.”

He said the man, whom he had never seen before, had ‘only got a hiding’.

He was asked if he had gone over the top.

“Fortunately, I didn’t,” he said.

He agreed that others might have gone too far by hitting him too many times.

“He was outnumbered,” he said.

He later identified himself from CCTV footage as one of four males standing beside a man, who was lying on the steps of the bridge.

He was asked what he was doing at that point.

“Pulling him up,” he responded.

He was asked what he had done then.

“Probably kicked him,” he responded.

He denied standing on the man’s face in the footage, saying that his foot was on a railing. He identified himself kicking him, but denied that it was in the head.

He described what he was shown as ‘sick’ and agreed that it was a ‘savage attack’. This footage was later shown to the jury.

He agreed that he was afraid to tell the detectives who the other people on the bridge were. He said he was protecting himself by not identifying them.

It was put to him on the night of January 2nd that, since his arrest, he hadn’t asked how Dale Creighton was. He said he had asked as soon as he had arrived.

“That was 20 hours ago. Have you asked anyone since?” he was asked.

“Don’t tell me he’s dead,” he repeated.

“Unfortunately, the poor lad passed away,” he was told.

“Oh, my God,” he exclaimed a number of times, hanging his head.

“I didn’t mean for any of that to happen, honestly,” he said.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy and the jury of six men and six women.

By Natasha Reid