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First pictures Thug James Davy back on streets after OAP Thomas 'Toddy' Dooley murder conviction overturned

'Kind man' Thomas  Dooley was brutally beaten to death before trio tried to set fire to his dead body

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James Davey was released from Mountjoy.

James Davey was released from Mountjoy.

James Davey was released from Mountjoy.

These are the first pictures of thug James Davy back on the streets after he successfully had his conviction for the murder of 64-year-old Thomas 'Toddy' Dooley overturned.

We snapped Davy - who aided in an attempt to burn the grandfather's body after the murder - back in Celbridge, Co Kildare following his release from Mountjoy Prison.

Approached by the Sunday World as he hefted bottles of water out of the back of a car, Davy (30) refused to discuss either his crime or the recent developments in his case.

A woman who was travelling in the front of the vehicle then got out and said: "He's not saying anything."

Davy, who had his conviction for Toddy's murder replaced with one of assisting an offender, was told this week he will not have to go back to prison for his role in the attempted cover up of Toddy's murder.

Mr. Justice Michael White at the Central Criminal Court sentenced Davy to nine years but said he had served his sentence and should be released having gone into custody in November 2014.

Davy has 21 previous convictions which include burglary, assault, criminal damage and possession of a knife.

Grandfather Toddy suffered eight blows to his head which shattered his skull, disfigured his face and left fragments of bone lodged in his brain during an attack at his home at Sr Senan Court in Edenderry on February 12, 2014.

Two blows to his torso had fractured three of his ribs.

Matthew Cummins (27) of Edenderry, Co Offaly, his co-accused Seán Davy (26) of Edenderry, and James Davy (30) of Celbridge, Co Kildare, denied his murder.

However, a unanimous jury found each man guilty of murder following a Central Criminal Court trial in 2016.

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Thomas 'Toddy' Dooley was brutally beaten to death.

Thomas 'Toddy' Dooley was brutally beaten to death.

Thomas 'Toddy' Dooley was brutally beaten to death.

 

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Trial judge Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan said the killing was a "brutal, motiveless attack on this defenceless elderly man" before she sentenced each to life in prison on October 10, 2016.

The trial heard that the three men got into Toddy's home through a window at about 5.30am on a cold, snowy morning.

Matthew Cummins had been in Toddy's house before and knew him as a kind man who would always say hello.

Cummins climbed in a window and then opened another window to let the other two in.

Toddy, who was described as "soft" by one garda witness, was used to having young visitors at irregular hours and it appears he did not object.

He sat down in his armchair, opened a can of Budweiser and drank with the intruders.

The three drank with Toddy for a time but at some point he was beaten to death and attempts were made to set his dead body on fire.

The State argued that all three men were equally guilty and were involved in a "joint enterprise" to murder.

The three men gave different accounts of what happened in the house.

Matthew Cummins claimed that "out of the blue" Seán Davy walked up behind the 64-year-old and beat him on the back of the head with the bat, before coming around the armchair to continue the beating from the front.

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James Davey was spotted in Celbridge, Co Kildare after he got out of prison

James Davey was spotted in Celbridge, Co Kildare after he got out of prison

James Davey was spotted in Celbridge, Co Kildare after he got out of prison

 

Seán Davy claimed that James Davy was responsible for most of the blows, and that he himself struck Toddy once, but "not full force".

James Davy denied laying a hand on Toddy, saying that Seán Davy beat him with the bat and Matthew Cummins kicked Toddy but not with much force.

Seán Davy failed in a bid to have his conviction overturned in 2018.

He had argued that he should have been tried separately rather than jointly with his co-accused.

James Davy and Matthew Cummins made applications to the Court of Appeal in May to have their convictions overturned.

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Our reporter approaches James Davy who refused to speak with the Sunday World.

Our reporter approaches James Davy who refused to speak with the Sunday World.

Our reporter approaches James Davy who refused to speak with the Sunday World.

 

Caroline Biggs SC, for Cummins, had argued that at no stage during the trial had the DPP "pinned her colours to the mast" to say whether the case was one of joint enterprise or aiding and abetting.

"It was just throw enough mud at this case and it will stick," she suggested. She also argued that the judge should have severed the indictment.

Counsel had said Cummins's presence when Mr Dooley was attacked was not enough to make him guilty of murder and added that the things the prosecution had accused him of - cleaning the scene and being present for the burning of the body - happened after Mr Dooley's death.

"You cannot convict a man for murder for an act he did when the person was already dead," she said.

In her appeal submissions, she argued that the judge should also have made it absolutely clear to the jury that if a person's act and 'mens rea' (guilty mind) occurred after the killing, the person would have been guilty of impeding the apprehension of another.

"Nowhere was that made clear," she said.

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James Davey at Tullamore District Court.

James Davey at Tullamore District Court.

James Davey at Tullamore District Court.

 

James Dwyer SC, who represented James Davy, told the appeal court: "I agree that this was one of those rare cases where they all blamed each other."

However, he noted recent rulings that every application for severance of an indictment must be treated with care by a trial judge.

"There was resistance in this case," he said.

He also argued that there were aspects of the judge's direction, which were confusing and misguided.

Patrick Treacy SC had responded on behalf of the DPP.

He said the prosecution case was that "all three men were intrinsically involved in the savage murder".

"I'm asking the court to have regard to the fact of how brutally this man was actually murdered," he said. "They say it's not of consequence that they were present to watch the brutality."

He noted that there was blood on the walls, floor and ceiling, and that the victim's head was misshapen, "such was the savagery of the beating".

"They say that you can be there as either James Davy or Matthew Cummins and watch the brutality and, in some way, you are not a participant in that," he said.

In overturning the murder convictions of James Davey and Cummins, the COurt of Appeal ruled that the two were not in a 'joint enterprise to kill' but did behave in a 'reprehensible manner' in a later attempt to burn the deceased's body and dispose of the murder weapon.

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