Trial date set for man accused of trying to murder boxing coach Pete Taylor, ending bail bid

trial date set for man accused of trying to murder boxing coach pete taylor, ending bail bid

File picture from the June 2018 shooting at Bray Boxing Club.

A 36-YEAR-OLD MAN accused of murdering an early morning gym-goer and the attempted murder of well-known coach Pete Taylor at Bray Boxing Club will go on trial at the Central Criminal Court in October this year.

With the trial date now set, it puts an end his fresh bid to be released on bail having been in custody for almost five years.

President of the Court of Appeal, Judge George Birmingham said today that the question of Gerard Cervi’s bail had been one of the “most difficult appeals” the court has had to consider, with the court having considered granting bail on “possibly the strictest conditions ever imposed by an Irish court upon a person”.

Cervi is charged with the murder of Bobby Messett, 50, and of the attempted murder of Pete Taylor, Katie Taylor’s father, who was also shot when a gunman entered Bray Boxing Club in Bray Harbour, Co Wicklow on 5 June 2018.

Cervi, who is originally from the East Wall area in Dublin 3, is further accused of the attempted murder of Ian Britton on the same date and location.

His first trial at the Central Criminal Court, which had already been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions, collapsed after 10 weeks in September 2021 after one of the jurors had fallen ill.

At an earlier hearing before the Central Criminal Court today, judge Paul McDermott fixed a date of October 2 for the trial. The case is expected to take six weeks.

Paul Murray, prosecuting solicitor, told the judge that he wanted to apply for a trial date as Cervi has been in custody since September 2018.

Murray said the bail matter was pending before the Court of Appeal and that the Central Criminal Court might be of the view that to list the case for trial next month was unrealistic given the history of the case.

Judge McDermott said that this would be “completely unrealistic” and that this was the first time he had heard of “developments” in the case in a long time.

Murray asked for the judge to remand the accused man in custody subject to the variation that may be granted by the Court of Appeal today.

The judge remanded Cervi in custody until 2 October, when his trial is expected to begin.

Last week, the Court of Appeal found that Cervi might be granted bail “on the most stringent conditions” having spent a “highly unusual amount of time” in custody without a date for his trial.

Judge Birmingham said that Cervi’s case was not a “straightforward” one and that he had spent a considerable time in custody with no imminent trial date.

The judge said that if there was a clear timeline regarding the trial, bail would have been refused, but because there was not the bail consideration had been “pushed over the line”.

He asked both parties to return to court to see if the suggestions were “broadly appropriate” or if there had been an “insurmountable” obstacle to the proposals.

At a subsequent hearing at the Court of Appeal this afternoon, Judge Birmingham said he would deny bail to Cervi now that a trial date had been fixed.

The judge said that the question of Cervi’s bail had been one of the “most difficult appeals” the court has had to consider.

Judge Birmingham said that “what was tipping us over the line and in favour of bail was that there was no timetable for trial”.

However, the judge said that now a trial date had been fixed, bail was to be denied.

Judge Birmingham then made the order denying bail ahead of October 2, which he said was  likely to be a very long trial.

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