Michael Scott told Gardaí that when he found his 76-year-old aunt lying on the ground after running over her in his farming teleporter, he saw no injuries to her body and thought she would be fine when he heard her breathing heard the Central Criminal Court.
Mr Scott has denied his aunt’s murder, saying to Gardaí what happened was an accident.
In Garda interviews after his arrest on suspicion of murder, Mr Scott said he didn’t know he could call 999 for an ambulance and he didn’t think his aunt would die. He said he didn’t help her off the ground because he needed someone with him. He said he called his friend Francis Hardiman because he didn’t know who else to call and didn’t know the doctors’ number.
Mr Scott denied murdering his aunt and said he did not want her to die. He also denied that he was short-tempered and purposely rolled over her a second time after initially turning her over.
Mr Scott (58) of Gortanumera, Portumna, Co Galway has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ms Treacy outside her home in Derryhiney, Portumna, Co Galway on 27 April 2018 in ongoing land disputes. Mr Scott’s lawyers said her death was a tragic accident.
Detective Garda Barry Carolan told Dean Kelly SC for prosecutors that he was present at Loughrea Garda Station for the third of Mr Scott’s four interviews on December 12, 2018. Gda Carolan asked Mr Scott what he did after he got off the JCB and found Ms Treacy at the scene.
He said he “walked over to her and said, ‘Are you okay Chrissie.’ Oh God! What a tragedy.” He said she was breathing heavily but could not speak. He could see her face and when asked if she could recognize him, Mr Scott said: “I don’t know. Shocking your only aunt.”
He said he didn’t notice any injuries, and when asked if he’d tried first aid, said, “I didn’t know about that.”
Gda Carolan asked why he hadn’t called an ambulance. Mr. Scott replied, “I’m not very knowledgeable about technology. I didn’t know that 999 could call both an ambulance and the fire department. I thought they had to call Ballinasloe Hospital and I didn’t have a number for a doctor.”
The only person he could call is his friend Francis Hardiman, he said. Mr Hardiman has produced evidence that after receiving a call from Mr Scott he drove directly to Derryhiney and found Ms Treacy at the scene. He whispered the act of remorse to her and called emergency services.
Mr Scott said he hadn’t thought to press the panic button around Ms Treacy’s neck and didn’t remember if he stayed with his aunt. Gda Carolan asked if he was with her when his aunt took her last breath. He said he may have been “hidden.”
The trial has previously heard that Mr Scott had leased around 40 acres from Mrs Treacy in Kiltormer, but she was told by an agricultural adviser that she could get a higher rent and rent it out to someone else. The court also heard that Ms Treacy and Mr Scott jointly owned a 140-acre farm in Derryhiney, but in the months leading up to her death Ms Treacy had asked her lawyer, Brendan Hyland, to begin proceedings to divide the land.
On the day of her death, Mr Scott received a letter from an agricultural adviser telling him not to claim farm payments for three plots on Derryhiney farm as Mrs Treacy would claim them for herself.
Mr Scott denied forcing his aunt to sign over the land to him in her will. He said it wasn’t true that his plans were “crushed” around him after Ms Treacy decided she wanted to split up the farm. He said he wasn’t concerned about the letter from Ms Treacy’s agricultural adviser, asking how she could apply for payments if she didn’t have livestock.
He said he didn’t think Chrissie was “behind the letter” and said he was talking to his aunt regularly at the time and couldn’t understand why she had contacted a lawyer instead of speaking to him. He said his aunt would be confused, but he understood that if she died, the land would go to him. “I have two witnesses for that,” he said.
He said he’s invested heavily in Derryhiney, adding, “Why take all that risk and work when someone else is going to take it on?” land to her friend, her friend Regina Donohue. “It was a very big shock,” he said.
The trial will continue next week before Ms. Judge Caroline Biggs and a jury of seven men and eight women.
https://www.irishtimes.com/crime-law/courts/2023/03/10/michael-scott-didnt-think-his-aunt-was-going-to-die-after-running-over-her-with-teleporter-court-told/ Michael Scott didn’t think his aunt would die after running over her with a teleporter, court says – The Irish Times