Michael Scott found not guilty of murder, guilty of manslaughter

Michael Scott Found Not Guilty Of Murder, Guilty Of Manslaughter Michael Scott Found Not Guilty Of Murder, Guilty Of Manslaughter
Scott had pleaded not guilty to the murder of his aunt Chrissie Treacy outside her home in Co Galway in April 2018. Photo: Collins
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Eoin Reynolds

Michael Scott has been found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter for the killing of his 76-year-old aunt Chrissie Treacy who died after she was run over by a teleporter driven by her nephew.

The jury of six men and six women took just under 15 hours to reach their verdict that he killed his aunt out of gross negligence when reversing across a yard outside her home. He will be sentenced on June 12th.

Scott (58), of Gortanumera, Portumna, Co Galway, had pleaded not guilty to murdering his aunt outside her home in Derryhiney, Portumna, Co Galway on April 27th, 2018.

The prosecution's case was that Scott deliberately reversed over Ms Treacy following a long-running dispute over land. Scott's lawyers said her death was a tragic accident.

Ms Justice Caroline Biggs previously told the jury there is no doubt that Scott was the cause of his aunt's death, but for a murder verdict the jury must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that at the time he ran over her, or the "nanosecond before that", he intended to kill or cause serious injury to her.


If the jury has a reasonable doubt about his intent, if it reasonably could have been an accident, they must acquit him of murder and then consider a verdict of manslaughter.

For a manslaughter verdict, Ms Justice Biggs said the jury must be satisfied that Scott was driving in a "grossly negligent" way. If the prosecution had failed to prove murder or manslaughter to the required standard, Ms Justice Biggs said the jury must acquit him.

The trial heard Scott told gardaí he was reversing the teleporter across the yard outside Ms Treacy's home when he felt a "thump" and thought he might have struck a trailer.

He said he rolled the machine forward to level ground and when he got out of the cabin he found Ms Treacy lying on the ground.

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The trial also heard that Ms Treacy and her brothers farmed about 140 acres at Derryhiney and that she owned another farm at nearby Kiltormer.

Following the deaths of Ms Treacy's brothers, Scott came to own half the land at Derryhiney and Ms Treacy owned the other half. She leased her land at Kiltormer and Derryhiney to the accused.

Witness Regina Donohue had told the trial that by Christmas 2017, the deceased had made an application through her solicitor to split the land at Derryhiney.

On the day that Ms Treacy died, Scott was to receive a letter from an agricultural consultant telling him that Ms Treacy was applying for a single farm payment in respect of certain fields on the Derryhiney farm.

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