A man who suffered a serious eye injury was threatened that he would be put in a body bag and his dog would be killed if he testified about assault, it was claimed during a trial.
Thomas Hussain Healy, aged 45, of 8 Liam Lynch Park, Mitchelstown, Co Cork, was yesterday found not guilty of assault causing serious harm to Seamus O’Driscoll, 50, at Stag Park Avenue, Mitchelstown, on March 27, 2015.
John O’Driscoll, aged 57, of the bungalow, Carrigane, Mitchelstown, who denied making a death threat to Seamus O’Driscoll if he gave evidence in court, was found not guilty of that charge.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin thanked the jury, which delivered a unanimous verdict after an hour of deliberation at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.
Seamus O’Driscoll testified that he was delivering meat to another house at Stag Park on March 26, 2015, when he was asked to come in for a drink with others who were having a party. He said that in the course of this night, a broken bottle was held up to his neck and he left the house.
“On my way home I was hit from behind. I was assaulted by Thomas Healy and his son Kelvin. I went upstairs in my house and got a shotgun. I came to the front door and left a shot in the air,” said Seamus O’Driscoll.
“The guards came later and they took possession of the gun, which was fair enough.”
Seamus O’Driscoll said that the following morning, the woman living in the house where the drinking had taken place asked him to come back.
He claimed he ended up alone in the sitting room with John O’Driscoll.
“He made me go down on my knees and he threatened he would kill me if I took this to court. He threatened to shoot me and put me in a bodybag. He threatened to kill my dog as well — he is my pride and joy.”
As for the injury, Seamus O’Driscoll said he was left with no sight in the eye in which he was struck.
Ray Boland, defending John O’Driscoll, suggested Seamus O’Driscoll had made up his complaint against his client. He replied: “I did not make it up, it is the truth, I am not in the habit of lying.”
Mr Boland put it to Seamus O’Driscoll that his own behaviour at the drinking session in the house and caused offence. “You were making lewd and dirty suggestions to women present,” suggested Mr Boland.
Seamus O’Driscoll replied: “That is un-correct.”
John O’Driscoll, who was accused of threatening to kill Seamus O’Driscoll and kill his dog if he gave evidence of being assaulted, said he drank about 12 cans of Budweiser on the night and stopped drinking at around 4am. He said it was known as a drinking house and that he was a heavy drinker at the time.
He denied a suggestion by Imelda Kelly, prosecuting, that the alcohol would have affected his memory. He denied threatening to kill Seamus O’Driscoll and his dog if he gave evidence.
Before the end of the trial, Judge Ó Donnabháin directed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty by direction against a third man, Kelvin Dolan, aged 21, of 8 Liam Lynch Park, Mitchelstown, a son of Thomas Hussain Healy, who had also denied a charge of assault causing harm to Mr O’Driscoll.
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