By Aoife Nic Ardghail
A Dublin man has gone on trial accused of breaking into an elderly farmer's home with two others and beating the victim with bats for a small sum of money.
Adam Marlowe (23) of Walkinstown Drive, Walkinstown, has pleaded not guilty to aggravated burglary and assaulting Malachy Turley causing him harm at Kettles Lane, Kinsealy, Dublin, on July 29, 2016.
He has also pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing €50 from the then 81-year-old complainant on the same date.
Antonia Boyle BL, prosecuting, read Mr Turley's Garda statement to the jury, in which he described how three men wearing homemade balaclavas broke into the man's home and attacked him. Ms Boyle explained that a witness statement can be read into the court record and taken as direct evidence when agreed by prosecution and defence.
In the statement, Mr Turley said he had been living alone at his family home since 1986 after his mother's death and rarely left the premises or received any visitors.
He said he had retired from farming a few years previously and allowed people to keep horses on his land for €100 a month.
Mr Turley described how he had woken up in the early hours of July 29, as was usual, to have a cup of tea and a slice of apple tart.
He said he went back to bed after a half hour and was roused again from his sleep to find a man standing in his bedroom doorway.
The complainant said he grabbed his walking stick to defend himself but then saw two other “fit lads”. He told gardaí the men wore homemade balaclavas and carried bats, a small blade and a firearm that looked like an imitation gun.
Mr Turley said the three intruders pushed him onto his bed and beat him as they screamed: “Where's the safe, where's the safe?” He said they called him by his first name during the attack.
The complainant stated that one of the men had a “Dublin suburbs” accent and kept hitting him and demanding money while the two other attackers left the room.
He said he went unconscious at one point during the beating and that when the two intruders re-entered his room, he was pulled to the floor and his mattress thrown on top of him.
He said he heard the gang pull his bedroom apart, get hold of keys and walk out of his room. He described lying under his mattress for up to 30 minutes before he emerged.
Mr Turley said he put his mattress back on his bed with difficulty due to his bad hip and fell asleep for a time. He said he recalled thinking that if the intruders had taken his phone and car that he would be “badly stuck”.
He stated that he couldn't remember feeling pain but thought it was because he was in shock. When he got up, he found his house ransacked, €50 missing from his wallet and two small bags of coins taken from his bookshelf.
He revealed that he waited a while to ring his brother because he didn't want to disturb him so early.
Mr Turley said he received five stitches to his hand, suffered bruising to his body and was prescribed painkillers. He told gardaí that his “main concern was that this incident could have been worse” and that he didn't want anyone else to go through his ordeal.
Earlier, Ms Boyle told the jury in her opening address that Garda forensics recovered a piece of blue material in Mr Turley's bedroom and that DNA recovered from this matched the accused.
She said it was the State's case that Mr Marlowe was one of the three men who entered the complainant's house, attacked him and robbed him.
The trial continues before Judge Melanie Greally and a jury of eight men and four women.