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Murder trial Pete Taylor's partner thought he 'was dying' after arriving to scene of Bray Boxing Club shooting

Earlier, boxing coach Pete Taylor told the court he made a complaint to the Garda watchdog that money and runners taken from him at the scene were never returned.

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6/7/2021 Pete Taylor, with his partner Karen Brown, arriving at the Central Criminal Court. PIC: Collins Courts

6/7/2021 Pete Taylor, with his partner Karen Brown, arriving at the Central Criminal Court. PIC: Collins Courts

6/7/2021 Pete Taylor, with his partner Karen Brown, arriving at the Central Criminal Court. PIC: Collins Courts

Pete Taylor made a complaint to the Garda watchdog that money taken from him after he was shot at his Bray gym was never returned, a court has heard.

The boxing coach has said that clothing, including runners and tracksuit bottoms containing between €200 and €400, were removed from him at the scene of the gun attack.

Gardaí said they didn't take the items, the Central Criminal Court has heard, and that the complaint was rejected by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

Mr Taylor was giving evidence in the trial of Gerard Cervi (34) who is charged with his attempted murder at Bray Boxing Club in Wicklow, on June 5, 2018.

The accused is also charged with the murder of Bobby Messett and the attempted murder of Ian Britton at the same location on the same date.

Mr Cervi, of no fixed abode but originally from the East Wall area of Dublin 3, has denied all charges.

Pete Taylor, the father of world boxing champion Katie Taylor, today gave testimony of the moment the gun attack happened in his gym and the aftermath of the shooting.

He recalled looking around for something to throw at the gunman who was standing in the doorway, but when he couldn't find anything, decided to run at the man.

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Bobby Messett

Bobby Messett

Bobby Messett

"As I was running the first shot went off that was aimed towards me. I felt it whiz above my head," he said, adding that it ricocheted above him off a machine.

When he got to within 5ft of the gunman, Mr Taylor said he jumped towards him, but his leg got caught on a bench.

He said this "shortened my jump" and that he landed "within touching distance, maybe a foot away" from the shooter.

Mr Taylor told the jury that he also got shot in the shoulder while he was diving which spun him around 180 degrees and onto his back.

He recalled later being removed from the gym by paramedics with the use of a chair.

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Mr Taylor said clothing, including his tracksuits bottoms and t-shirt, were cut off by the paramedics while his runners were also taken.

The witness said the items were placed into a bag beside him, and he remembered asking why his tracksuit bottoms were being cut-off when he had been shot in the chest.

He said he later asked for his runners back as well as between €200 and €300 that was in his tracksuit bottoms when they were removed.

The court heard this money was from fees paid by the class participants that morning.

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Gerard Cervi (34) has pleaded not guilty to all charges

Gerard Cervi (34) has pleaded not guilty to all charges

Gerard Cervi (34) has pleaded not guilty to all charges

He accepted that in his original statement to gardaí he said that the money was between €300 and €400.

Pete Taylor told the court that he got "some items" back, but that the money and the runners were never returned.

Under cross-examination he told defence counsel Anne-Marie Lawlor SC that he was told by the gardaí that they "didn't have" them.

The witness agreed that he had to go to the Garda Ombudsman to make a complaint "about different matters".

He also accepted that he had "a considerable amount of concern and complaint" regarding his dealings with gardaí, including the missing items.

"Not only were they not returned, it was suggested they had never made their way to anyone in the investigation team," Ms Lawlor asked the witness, with which he agreed.

Pete Taylor said he wasn't "in a state to know where" his clothing was taken and that he was in pain at the time.

He said that gardaí were present "all the time" after the shooting while he was being treated in hospital.

The witness told prosecuting counsel Paul Murray SC, under re-examination, that his complaint "was rejected" by GSOC.

His partner, Karen Brown, also gave evidence of a guard at the scene holding a blue plastic bag with the items inside.

She said that she later saw the same garda with the bag, containing the runners and tracksuits bottoms, in the waiting room of St Vincent's Hospital.

In her evidence Ms Brown also recalled the morning of the shooting.

She said she was running late for the fitness class and while driving to the gym she "almost hit a grey van" which she said may have been a Volkswagen Caddy or Transit, similar to vans "used by builders".

It is the prosecution's case that a Volkswagen Caddy was used in the shooting.

Ms Brown said she then arrived at the gym and saw two class participants "hanging out" of the ladies' toilet window.

She first thought one of the men was joking, but then saw the second man and knew that there was something wrong.

The witness said one of the men was shouting "call an ambulance, we've been shot".

She ran up the stairs and saw the bullet shells on the landing. She could also see Bobby Messett inside the door.

"He was gone, you could tell he was dead. I saw Pete's feet and I just assumed Pete was dying because he had no colour in his face," she said.

Karen Brown said she was conscious that her partner was not in a good condition and was telling him that Mr Messett was okay to reassure him.

She said that "after a long time" the on-call doctor arrived, and she was surprised there was no armed gardaí at the scene "considering it was a shooting, a murder".

Ms Brown said that after 30 minutes an ambulance arrived and, becoming visibly upset, said that she sat there "the whole time with Bobby beside me".

Paul Murray SC also read out statements from medical practitioners detailing the gunshot injuries suffered by Mr Taylor and Ian Britton.

The case continues before Mr Justice Michael White, and the jury of three men and nine women, tomorrow morning


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