The man accused of murdering Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe said today he couldn’t identify the accents of the men who robbed the Lordship Credit Union and shot a garda on 25 January 2013.
An audio recording from a dash cam at the scene of the crime was played for 29-year-old Aaron Brady in court today.
A voice can be heard to say: “Give me the f**king bag, give me the f**king money.”
Senior Counsel Brendan Grehan asked Mr Brady if he could “help us in relation to the accents”.
Mr Brady said he couldn’t make the accents out, adding: “I definitely don’t recognise it. It’s very blurry.”
Senior Counsel Grehan asked if he would agree that the accent is from the border area.
Mr Brady replied: “I can’t say because I can’t make it out.”
He also denied stealing a car that the prosecution alleges was used in the robbery and rejected a suggestion by Mr Grehan that a car belonging to a suspect for the crime in which Mr Brady may have been a passenger drove by Lordship Credit Union earlier in the day as part of a “drive-by” in advance of the robbery.
Mr Grehan said that mobile phone evidence shows that Mr Brady’s two phones and phones belonging to two suspects for the robbery were all inactive for roughly a two-hour period before and after the robbery at Lordship.
He said that his own phones were inactive because he was laundering diesel at that time and he could not say why the other two suspects’ phones were inactive.
A number of calls were made to the phones at the time they were inactive.
Aaron Brady accepted his phone only became active again an hour and a quarter after the murder when he texted his 17-year-old girlfriend and asked to call in to her home.
Her phone was seized by the PSNI the following day and the text messages between her and Mr Brady were shown in court today.
Mr Brady agreed that he arrived at his girlfriend’s house just after 11pm that night.
He also agreed that he spoke to a number of other people that night between 11pm and 4am the following morning but not to the two people he claimed had hired him to work earlier that night in the yard loading diesel waste cubes on to a trailer.
Senior Counsel Brendan Grehan put it to him that he had gone to “do a job” in the diesel laundering yard in Armagh during the time of the murder, that he had left the job “half done” and yet he didn’t contact those people to tell them that he hadn’t finished the job.
Mr Brady said his only concern that night was to get to see his girlfriend to “fix the relationship” after he had been angry with her the night before.
He also admitted that two calls to her the following day after he had been stopped by gardaí at a checkpoint were to get her to lie for him and say he was with her in her house during the robbery and murder.
He insisted he did this to cover what he claims was his involvement in diesel laundering on 25 January 2013 and not any alleged involvement in the armed robbery of the credit union and the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe.
The 29-year-old from New Road, Crossmaglen in Co Armagh has denied the charges of murder and robbery.
Senior Counsel Brendan Grehan told him today it was the prosecution’s case that he and two other named suspects were involved.
The court heard that Aaron Brady had two phones, one of which he referred to as “a work phone” for criminality.
He was shown a list of calls and texts to and from those phones on the day of the murder and the day after, including communications with the other suspects in the case.
However, he told the court today he couldn’t remember what the majority of those texts and phone calls were about.
There were a number of calls to unidentified UK and Irish mobile phones but he said he couldn’t recall whose numbers they were or what the calls were about.
He told Mr Grehan that he couldn’t remember a lot of specifics of where he was or who he met or what vehicles he was traveling in.
Mr Grehan suggested that this was one of the most important days of his life and that he would remember details.
Mr Brady replied: “To me it was a normal day. I might forget some things.”
Mr Grehan told him that a garda was shot dead that day less than two kilometres from where he was staying and the following day Mr Brady lied to a garda about his movements after being stopped and questioned.
Mr Grehan added: “You would remember every detail.”
When asked why he called his father after he had been stopped by gardaí and asked to account for his movements the day after the murder, he replied he couldn’t say but that the conversation was “probably about me being stopped”.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
The trial continues tomorrow.