Jury clears man of shooting his daughter’s partner

A LIMERICK man was cleared yesterday by a jury of possessing a Glock semi automatic handgun with intent to endanger life.

Following a 17-day trial at Limerick Circuit Court, the jury returned an unanimous not guilty verdict on Anthony Kelly after deliberating for under three hours.

He was alleged to have shot and wounded a man, then his daughter’s boyfriend, after a row between the families.

Mr Kelly, aged 51, of 121 O’Malley Park, Southill, was charged following the shooting near his home in Southill on October 28, 2009.

His daughter Jessica had been going out with Michael Lynch, aged 28, a neighbour.

Following a row at the Lynch home, Jessica left.

Mary Lynch, mother of Michael Lynch recalled going to Kellys’ to ensure Mr Kelly got the right story as to what had occurred.

While there, a row flared up and Ms Lynch said, in evidence, she received cuts to her face from Ms Kelly.

On returning home, her sons Michael and Gerard became angry and said Jessica could not get away with it.

They headed over to the Kelly house followed by their mother.

After another exchange, Ms Lynch alleged Mr Kelly pulled a gun and fired four shots, three into the air and another which hit her son Michael in the back.

Medical evidence was given of the serious wound the injured party received when the bullet exited through his chest.

After about five days in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, the injured man signed himself out.

Gerard Lynch in evidence alleged he saw Mr Kelly shoot his brother.

Michael Lynch, who told gardaí Mr Kelly shot him, in evidence said he could not say who fired the gun as his back was turned.

He was deemed a hostile witness on the application of the state prosecutor, John O’Sullivan.

The trial heard a ballistics test found that casings from bullets fired from one of the guns, a Glock, matched shells found at the scene of the shooting.

When arrested, Mr Kelly kept telling gardaí to look at CCTV coverage from a camera near his home.

He said if gardaí looked at the CCTV, he would be released as it would show he did not shoot anybody. This was part of the system put in place in Southill by the Regeneration Agency.

On inspection, however, it was found the camera near Mr Kelly’s house had been out of action for some time.

Brendan Nix, defending, recalled that both Lynch brothers could not be relied on. Mr Nix said his defence hinged on the CCTV which would contain the vital evidence, which would clear the accused.

In his summing up to the jury, Mr Nix said there was only one gear in the garda investigation and that was onward and upward until they proved Mr Kelly guilty.

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