Court hears Dale Creighton had a stab wound to his leg
By Natasha Reid
The trial of seven Dubliners charged with murdering a man, who was beaten to death, has heard that the deceased also had a stab wound to his leg.
One of the accused identified himself with a knife in CCTV footage of the fatal assault during garda interviews, but denied stabbing 20-year-old Dale Creighton on New Year’s Morning 2014. The court heard that James Reid described what he was shown as ‘horrific’.
The incident took place around 4am at the footbridge over the Tallaght bypass between Saint Dominic’s Road and Greenhills Road. Dale Creighton died in hospital on January 2nd 2014.
A woman and six men, who are in their 20s and from Tallaght, have all pleaded not (NOT) guilty to murder and went on trial at the Central Criminal Court on Tuesday.
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 Gortlum Cottages, 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 (NOT) guilty to violent disorder at the footbridge that New Year’s Day. However Jason Beresford changed his plea on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to the violent disorder charge.
Garda Brian O’Connor testified that he arrested James Reid at an address in Tallaght on the morning of January 2nd. He and colleagues then interviewed him at Tallaght Garda Station.
Mr Reid said he was aware of the incident on the bridge because he had seen it on the news.
He said he did not know Dale Creighton, but had heard something about a girl’s phone being stolen that morning.
It was put to him that Mr Creighton was dead as a result of his and his friends’ actions.
“It wasn’t me,” he replied.
He was asked which part he had taken in the assault.
“I had no part in it,” he said.
It was put to him that, as far as the garda could make out from the CCTV, Mr Creighton was kicked, punched, stabbed and thrown down a set of concrete stairs.
He was then shown footage of the incident on the bridge and asked if he had anything to say.
“It’s horrific,” he responded.
He agreed that he was on the video and identified himself, but repeated that he hadn’t assaulted the deceased.
The footage had already been played to the jury, but was replayed so Gda O’Connor could point out the figure Mr Reid had identified as himself.
“What are you holding in your hand?” he was asked in interview.
“The knife that I took off him when he swung it at me,” he replied. “I jumped back and took it off him.”
He agred that he then walked out of shot with the knife and said that he went home.
“I didn’t want nothing to do with it,” he said.
Under cross examination by Ciaran O’Loughlin SC, defending Mr Reid, Garda O’Connor agreed that he had not seen his client punch, kick, stab or drag the deceased in the footage. He also agreed that he could see him pushing someone away from Mr Creighton.
He confirmed that no camera covered Mr Reid taking a knife from the deceased.
Detective Garda David Jennings testified that he interviewed Mr Reid the following day and asked about his involvement when Mr Creighton was lying on the bridge.
“I told your man, Dale, to tell them where the phone was,” he replied, explaining that Mr Creighton had said he didn’t have it.
“He barely said it,” he added.
He denied hitting, kicking or stamping on him. He said he had the knife during the whole incident but didn’t use it.
“You know how this looks? You take the knife off him and he ends up with a stab wound,” remarked his interviewer.
“It wasn’t me,” he replied. “I can’t even remember looking at him.”
Some footage was played to the accused.
“He’s lifeless and has a stab wound,” it was suggested.
He again denied stabbing Mr Creighton.
He was asked if he regretted going up the steps of the bridge.
“I regret being there in the first place,” he replied.
Seán Gillane SC, prosecuting, then confirmed that there was medical evidence of a penetrating wound to Mr Creighton’s right leg.
The trial continues before Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy and a jury of six men and six women.