Drogheda criminal Paul Crosby, who was accused of murdering teenager Keane Mulready-Woods, has pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court on Monday morning to the lesser charge of facilitating the 17-year-old’s murder.
Crosby (27) of Rathmullan Park, Drogheda, Co Louth, had been given a date early next year for his murder trial at the three-judge court but was instead arraigned on the new charge on Monday.
Mr Mulready-Woods was last seen alive in Drogheda on January 12th, 2020. The following day, some of the teenager’s body parts were found in a sports bag in the Moatview area of Coolock, Dublin.
Two days later, remains were found in a burning car in a laneway in the Drumcondra area. Mr Mulready-Woods’ torso was discovered on March 11th, 2020, hidden in an overgrown ravine during a search of waste-ground at Rathmullan Park.
At the Criminal Courts of Justice on Monday, Garda Detective Inspector Aidan McCabe identified Crosby to the court and told Michael O’Donovan, solicitor for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), that he handed a copy of the charge to the accused in the precincts of the court and that he explained the charge to him in ordinary language.
Crosby stood when the registrar read out the charge to him and spoke only to say “I am” to identify himself and “guilty” to answer the participation charge.
Crosby pleaded guilty to a charge that, with knowledge of the existence of a criminal organisation, he participated in activities with intent to facilitate a serious offence, namely the murder of Mr Mulready-Woods, at Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, Co Louth, between the dates of January 11th and 13th, 2020, contrary to section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.
Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt preserved the original trial date of January 23rd as a sentencing date for Crosby.
The Special Criminal Court previously heard that Crosby has 40 previous convictions, including those for drug-related offences. He was also acquitted of attempted murder following a trial in February 2019.
A second male, co-accused Gerard Cruise (47), with addresses in Dublin 1 and Rathmullan Park, remains charged with the teen’s murder at a house in Rathmullan Park on January 12th or 13th, 2020.
However, after Crosby entered his plea, Mr Bernard Condon SC, for Mr Cruise, said his client would be “doing likewise” next month. Mr Justice Hunt adjourned Mr Cruise’s case to January 13th.