Man hit with iron bar in row over hose soaking

A motorist who complained he was splashed by a man watering flowers had the hose turned directly on him and was struck on the head with an iron bar, it was claimed at trial yesterday.

Noel Long, aged 65, of 28 Maulbawn, Passage West, Co Cork, denied charges of assault causing harm to Brendan Murphy, and having an iron bar used for striking Mr Murphy across the head.

A jury took just over an hour to return a unanimous verdict of guilty of assault causing harm and not guilty in relation to the iron bar. Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin remanded Long in custody for sentencing today.

Mr Murphy, 38, said he was driving his van down a dirt track past Long’s house when the disputed incident occurred. He said Long was using a hose.

“Water came in the driver’s side window, he soaked me,” said Mr Murphy. “I pulled up the van. I asked him what his problem was. I stood out of the van about 10 feet from him.

“Basically we exchanged words and he turned the hose on me. I said ‘what the fuck are you after doing. You are after soaking me’. He said ‘fuck off out of here’. He turned the hose on me. I jumped out of the way. I said in my own mind, kids wouldn’t do it.

“He picked up a bar, it was around three feet. We were just exchanging words. I bent down and I thought my eye was gone.

“I picked up a brush. I basically couldn’t see with the blood. I knew the brush wouldn’t defend myself. I took off.”

Tom Power, defence barrister, said Mr Murphy got out of his van in anger.

Mr Power said to Mr Murphy: “You said ‘I am going to kick your fucking head in for what you said about my sister’. The reason you went there in the first place is you were looking for Mr Long. The reason you got out of the van was anger and revenge for some perceived slight.”

Mr Murphy denied that and said it was a public driveway.

Long testified that he was watering plants, that Mr Murphy complained of being splashed, and a row began.

“I hit him with my left hand,” said Long. “He counteracted with his right. I came over with my right, I had the bar in my right hand.”

Judge Ó Donnabháin said, “You hit him with the bar?” Long replied: “It was not my intention. It was the ferocity of the onslaught. I didn’t know who he had in the van. I was up against it from the very beginning.”


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