Accused: I didn’t threaten to kill, I asked him to smile

Martin McLaughlin and his wife Ann deny harassing their neighbours, Ray and Patrizia Crowley.

A 67-year-old Co Clare man told gardaí that he never threatened to kill his neighbour, but instead asked him to smile.

At Ennis Circuit Court yesterday, evidence was heard that retired Department of Agriculture officer Martin McLaughlin denied threatening to kill neighbour Ray Crowley, 41, on September 24, 2011.

In interview, Garda Barry O’Grady put it to Mr McLaughlin that he had been cutting trees and hedges at the front of the Crowley property and Mr Crowley asked him to stop.

Mr McLaughlin replied: “He didn’t say anything to me. He did not tell me to stop. He took my picture and went away. I was only cutting briars.”

Garda O’Grady put it to Mr McLaughlin that he told Mr Crowley “fuck off now or I will kill you” and in response Mr McLaughlin said: “No, I told him to smile and I was surprised that he had come back out to see me”. Asked did he shortly after this shout to Mr Crowley “I will fucking kill you, I will fucking kill you, you c***”, in reply, Mr McLaughlin said he denied that.

Mr McLaughlin denies threatening to kill Mr Crowley on two occasions, on March 19, 2010, and September 24, 2011.

Mr McLaughlin and his wife, Ann, aged 65, of Ballymaconna, Barefield, Ennis, also deny harassing Mr Crowley and his wife, Patrizia from October 1, 2006 to March 31, 2012.

Earlier yesterday, electrician John Murphy told the jury he was at the Crowley home on September 24, 2011, and heard Mr McLaughlin tell Mr Crowley: “I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you, you fucking c***.”

Mr McLaughlin also denied threatening to kill Mr Crowley on March 19, 2010 and only said on the day that the wall being built was a foot too high.

Mr McLaughlin said he has a pipe running through Crowley land which broke when Mr Crowley built his home, leaving the McLaughlins without water for two days. “I made no issue of it,” he said.

Garda O’Grady told Mr McLaughlin in the Garda interview: “It sounds to me that you have spent a lot of time interfering with Mr Crowley’s property.”

Mr McLaughlin said: “I admit cutting the hedge, that it is about it.”

In her garda interview, Mrs McLaughlin said she felt intimidated by CCTV cameras on the laneway near her home.

She said: “I have never shouted obscenities at anyone. I have a totally clean record and I have never did anything to anyone and I’m glad to be asked about the false allegations against me so I can clear my name.”

The trial continues.


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