Brothers convicted over attack on uncle

A jury has convicted two brothers of causing their uncle serious harm in an alcohol-fuelled row at his home almost four years ago.

After deliberating for over three hours at the Circuit Criminal Court, in Tralee, Co Kerry, the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict.

Robert Kelly, aged 32, of Ogham Rian, Tralee, and Tommy Kelly, aged 34, of Marian Park, Tralee, had denied causing serious harm to Gerald Fitzgerald, aged 49, at 38 Mitchels Rd, Tralee, on November 8, 2011.

Neither accused applied for bail and were remanded in custody until July 14 when a date for sentencing is due to be fixed.

During the deliberations, the jury asked to see three parts of a broken brush and tennis racquets which were among the items found in Mr Fitzgerald’s home by gardaí.

They also requested all the medical reports that had been presented as evidence which were then read out by Judge Eugene O’Kelly.

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In interviews with gardaí, the brothers admitted exchanging blows with Mr Fitzgerald, but both denied putting a tennis racquet handle into his back passage.

The court heard the brothers and Mr Fitzgerald had been drinking together that day in Tralee, and returned to Mr Fitzgerald’s home where they had more drinks and a row broke out.

The brothers left Mr Fitzgerald in an unconscious and bloodied state in the house. He was found by other people and admitted to Kerry General Hospital shortly after 8pm that night.

Mr Fitzgerald told the court he had suffered a brain injury and could not remember what had happened.

Medical reports showed he had swelling and bleeding in his brain, extensive lacerations to his scalp and face, fractures to his skull, ribs and nose, as well as bruising and laceration of the liver, bladder, and rectum regions.

Dr Tom McCormack, consultant surgeon at Kerry General Hospital, said Mr Fitzgerald had sustained “devastating” and “very significant” injuries, with perforations to the bowel and bladder resulting from the forcible insertion of a sharp object into his rectum.

He said Mr Fitzgerald was at risk of future bladder and bowel problems and, in his opinion, the injuries fell under the category of serious harm.

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