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Fatal shooting Bray Boxing Club gunman 'gave no warning' before firing 9 shots, murder trial told

Gerard Cervi (34) has gone on trial charged with the murder of Bobby Messett at Bray Boxing Club, Co Wicklow, on June 5, 2018.

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Gerard Cervi

Gerard Cervi

Gerard Cervi

The Bray Boxing Club shooting was carried out by a gunman who 'gave no warning' before firing nine shots in quick succession, a court has heard.

Bobby Messett died after being shot in the head during the gun attack at the boxing gym three years ago.

Two others, coach Pete Taylor and fitness class participant Ian Britton, were also injured after being shot in the body, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Gerard Cervi (34) has gone on trial charged with the murder of Mr Messett at Bray Boxing Club in Bray, Co Wicklow, on June 5, 2018.

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The late Bobby Messett

The late Bobby Messett

The late Bobby Messett

He is also accused of the attempted murders of Mr Taylor and Mr Britton at the same location on the same date.

The accused, of no fixed abode but originally from the East Wall area in Dublin 3, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

It is the State's case that he was the gunman.

A jury of three men and nine women were sworn in before Mr Justice Michael White this afternoon.

Opening the case, prosecutor Paul Murray SC told the jurors that it can be very simply summarised.

He said that shortly before 7am on the day of the shooting, a lone gunman entered the boxing club while an exercise class was taking place.

The court heard that Pete Taylor was the organiser while there were 11 participants, including Mr Messett and Mr Britton.

Mr Murray told the jury that "nothing was said, no warning was given" when the gunman fired a number of shots from a type of semi-automatic pistol in quick succession.

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The shots, the court heard, went in various directions before the gunman made good his escape.

"In his wake he left Bobby Messett dead and two men injured, Pete Taylor and Ian Britton," the jury were told.

Mr Murray said it is the prosecution's case that the lone gunman who entered the boxing club on the day in question was Gerard Cervi.

The jury were told that paramount to the case is intent, and that the prosecution does not have prove a motive.

Mr Murray said that a mistake can still be murder if there is an intention to kill or cause serious harm.

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Pete Taylor was seriously injured in the shooting (Niall Carson/PA)

Pete Taylor was seriously injured in the shooting (Niall Carson/PA)

Pete Taylor was seriously injured in the shooting (Niall Carson/PA)


He told the court that if a person makes a mistake, or kills the wrong person, it is still murder if there was intent to kill a person.

Mr Murray said that the deceased, Bobby Messett, died after being shot in the head.

He asked the jury what the natural and probable consequences were of firing a gun nine times in varying directions, in a confined space, at the head of Mr Messett, and at the bodies of Mr Taylor and Mr Britton.

Counsel said the fact that neither of these two men died as a result of what happened doesn't mean that the charge of attempted murder cannot be made.

He said if the intention was to kill or cause serious injury to a person, whether they are killed or not, then the charge of attempted murder can still be made irrespective of the injury which was sustained.

The jury were also told that it is not sufficient to reach a guilty verdict if they feel it is possible, probable, or more than likely that the accused is guilty.

Mr Murray said they could only reach a guilty verdict on one or any of the three counts if they were satisfied beyond reasonable doubt.

They were also told that the burden of proof rests upon the prosecution.

He said the prosecution's role is not to secure a conviction at all costs, but to present the case and call the evidence for the jury to decide whether they are satisfied or not of guilt on one or more counts beyond reasonable doubt.

The trial continues tomorrow morning.

Prior to the case being opened, Mr Justice Michael White told the jurors that the trial will deal with events and witnesses from Bray, Cabinteely, Ringsend, and the East Wall area.

He said the trial is expected to last around eight weeks.

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