Son who kicked and stamped elderly father to death jailed for seven years

Son who kicked and stamped elderly father to death jailed for seven years

A 48-year-old man who kicked and stamped his elderly and unwell father to death in the kitchen of the home they shared has been jailed for seven years.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt said that the victim Anthony 'Tony' Tims was attacked by his son Mark in a "place where he ought to have been safe".

While a jury had found that the accused was provoked to the point where he had lost control after his "irritable" father told him he wished he'd never been born, Mr Justice Hunt said the elder Mr Tims was drunk and "ought to have been ignored rather than attacked".

Tims had pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to his father's murder at Rowlagh Green, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 on July 13, 2018.

His plea was rejected by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) but a jury acquitted him of murder and found him guilty of manslaughter following a two-week trial in January.

Going over the evidence heard during the trial, Mr Justice Hunt said that Anthony Tims had celebrated his 74th birthday by going to the bookies and having a few drinks with friends in a pub.

His son was at home drinking cans of Guinness. While both men were drinkers, he said his son's habit of drinking at home was a "bone of contention" between them.

When the older man returned home there was a "verbal exchange" between them in the kitchen and "out of the blue" Anthony Tims began to abuse his son, telling him he was a "disappointment" and he wished he'd never been born.

Tims then used a mug to strike his father using "significant force" and causing a "full thickness laceration on the forehead". When the deceased fell to the ground Tims "stamped and kicked him a number of times to the trunk and head", the judge said.

The injuries he suffered, combined with a pre-existing heart condition, caused his death.

Justice Hunt noted that although the jury had agreed that Tims was provoked by his father's words, the abuse he suffered was verbal and not physical.

During a previous hearing, the judge had questioned whether provocation should be allowed as a defence in murder cases where the deceased only used words against the accused.

He said he believes in the rule of "sticks and stones" and added: "I wonder whether provocation should be allowed in respect of words, but it is and we will see what the Supreme Court has to say about it in due course."

Justice Hunt today also noted that following the attack Tims gathered his belongings and his bicycle and left.

He said: "He did not offer any assistance to his father when he recovered his composure."

He also noted that his father was deprived of the enjoyment he would have taken from his usual habits of going to the bookies and having drinks with friends.

He said the accused's daughter had lost a grandfather who doted on her and would grow up knowing what her father had done.

’human cruelty’

She had learned a lesson in "human cruelty" that a child her age should not learn, the judge said.

He set the headline sentence at 10 years but after taking mitigating factors into account, including his early guilty plea and cooperation with gardai, he reduced that to seven years and six months.

He suspended the final six months for two years on condition that he be of good behaviour and cooperate with Probation services for a period of 12 months. The sentence was also backdated to July 2018 when Tims first went into custody.

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