Witness jailed over failure to give evidence in Brady trial
Updated / Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020 16:48
A 30-year-old man has been jailed for three weeks and fined €2,000 after he failed to testify during the trial of Aaron Brady, who is serving life for the murder of detective Garda Adrian Donohoe.
Father-of-two, Colin Hoey from O’Neill Estate, Cregganduff in Co Armagh pleaded guilty to contempt of court.
He had given Aaron Brady an alibi for the night Brady shot dead detective Garda Adrian Donohoe seven and a half years ago.
Hoey and Brady were friends since primary school and both were living in the same house at the time of the murder.
Hoey told gardaí that he and the convicted Garda killer had watched a film together that night.
However, he later withdrew that statement and did not turn up to testify during Brady’s trial.
He had “significant evidence” to give the High Court heard today and he did not testify after he and his family had received threats “backed by criminal or paramilitary elements”.
They contacted him and his father and intimated that it might not be in Hoey’s best interest to attend Brady’s trial.
Mr Justice Michael White said today he was sure Hoey and his family had taken the threats “quite seriously”.
Hoey, he said was a “very decent young man” from a “very decent family” who had been caught up in a “very difficult situation”.
The judge also said he was “sure the vast majority of the decent people from south Armagh” were “sick and tired of criminals” invoking “the green flag” and intimidating witnesses.
He fined him €2,000 and jailed him for 21 days.
Gardaí are continuing to investigate allegations of witness intimidation, perverting the course of justice and the unlawful use of mobile phones in prison in connection with the Aaron Brady murder trial.
Seven people including Brady have been arrested so far.
Colin Hoey is the first person to be convicted of contempt of court in connection with the case following intimidation.