A father and son testified against each other in an assault case at Cork District Court yesterday where allegations and counter-allegations were made as the judge said she was sorry it had come to this.
William Bowles, who is in his 60s, complained that he was assaulted by his son Stephen Bowles, aged 39, of 21 Elderwood Park, Boreenmanna Rd, Cork.
Judge Grainne O’Neill dismissed the case against the son.
“I am sorry it has come to the point where a father and son are on opposite sides of a criminal prosecution,” Judge O’Neill said.
She said that she had to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Stephen Bowles was guilty of assaulting his father and she said she was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt so she was dismissing the charge against him.
William Bowles testified that he had not been in contact with his son for seven years before the date of the disputed incident on April 24, 2014, at a construction site by a house in McGrath Park, off Church Rd, Blackrock, Cork.
“Seven years ago I had to leave him go from the firm,” he said.
He claimed that on April 24 last year his son pushed his shoulders with his hands and threw a concrete block in his direction which did not make contact.
Donal Daly, defence solicitor, who represented Stephen Bowles, put it to William Bowles: “The second you left him go in 2008 you complained him to the guards for taking a van from the company — the van he alone had been driving when he worked there.”
William Bowles said he had just wanted to get the van back.
“There was a bad feeling because you wanted him to go on the dole while working,” Mr Daly alleged.
William Bowles replied: “Never happened.”
William Bowles said in cross-examination that someone reported him to the Department of Social Welfare three months after the alleged assault and it cost another party in the company €50,000, a matter which he said was under appeal.
“Would you have been delighted to see him?” Mr Daly asked. William Bowles replied in relation to his son: “No, I would do anything to avoid him.”
William Bowles denied Mr Daly’s suggestion that it was all much ado about nothing where there was a bit of pushing and shoving by father and son.
Stephen Bowles said he never picked up a block or threw a block and could not have done so because of hand injuries. Inspector Ronan Kennelly put it to him that he had assaulted his father on the day.
Stephen Bowles replied: “I was pushed, I pushed him back. I called him names, he called me names.”
He said of his father: “He is a bully. He couldn’t get me to break the law. If I am guilty of anything I am guilty of standing up for myself. I was loyal to him. He got nothing but loyalty from me.
“I was being bullied to sign on the dole… Getting me to sign on for €200 and work for cash. If I had got caught he would have said ‘it was your choice, Stephen’.”
William Bowles totally denied that accusation when he was cross-examined on the point by Mr Daly in court yesterday.
Stephen Bowles said that he would not sign on the dole when working and that he did report allegations to the Department of Social Welfare.
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