Passage of time ‘clouds case’

The huge passage of time added to the complexity of finalising a case involving an assault which occurred 14 years ago, a judge said yesterday.

Alan Boohan, aged 34, of Glenogra, Fedamore, had pleaded not guilty at Limerick Circuit Court to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Eoghan O’Callaghan on the night of September 24, 2001, while on their way home from a 21st birthday party at Bulgaden Castle, Kilmallock.

After evidence concluded on the third day of the trial earlier this month, the jury asked Judge Tom O’Donnell could they find that the accused did not inflict the injury intentionally, but did so recklessly.

Following submissions, Judge Tom O’Donnell told the jury that to convict they had to be satisfied the accused acted intentionally or recklessly. Judge O’Donnell advised the jury they were entitled to add a rider to their verdict.

The jury brought in a unanimous guilty verdict to the charge, adding a note that they did not think Boohan acted intentionally.

At yesterday’s sentencing hearing Mr Sexton said the jury’s verdict was unusual and indicative of the jury’s reflection. Judge O’Donnell said the passage of time had to complexity of his task as sentencing judge. He said over the years the case had been adjourned 29 times.

This he said resulted in the case hanging over the accused all that time and the victim also had to wait that time for the matter to be finalised. He said he would pass sentence on December 11. Mr O’Callaghan, aged 34, who lives in Fedamore told the trial that after the party he went to the carpark of Bulgaden Castle to organise a drive home.

He met Alan Boohan who asked him to drive his van as he had too much to drink Mr O’Callaghan said he did not have much to drink and decided to drive Boohan’s van.

He got into the driver’s seat and four others including the accused got in. Boohan was directly behind him.

He passed the turn off in Fedamore village where two people in the van were to get off and he stopped and reversed. But he collided with a parked car. He then got a strange feeling in his neck and a swipe sensation.

Boohan, he said, used a blade to cut him across the throat

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