Brother's assault charge dismissed
Published 08/12/2015 | 00:00
An assault charge levelled against Patrick (or Pat) Power (44), Park, Duncormick was dismissed by Judge Gerard Haughton as the District Court in Wexford was given some insight into 'a family at war'.
Pat Power denied striking his brother John at Sea Lane in Duncormick on June 7, 2013 when he and his wife called to see his mother.
The prosecution case was given at a previous sitting in spring when John stated that he was hit around his head and back. However, this version of events was contradicted by the accused who claimed constant harassment by the injured party and his other brother Nick.
The court learned that hostilities revolved in part around a claim to land made by John who was at the site in question on the day in question. That afternoon, Pat and Nuala Power drove past him on the lane as they called to see his mother, also called Nuala.
In the witness box, Pat explained that he had been dosing cattle when his wife made contact to say that the mother was not well.
The couple drove towards the house where the older woman lived and noticed that John was down on the ground after they passed.
He maintained that he remained in his jeep while his wife went back on foot to ask if he was alright. He said he only left the vehicle after his brother Nick arrived and started 'shouting and roaring' at his wife.
Pat Power's evidence was that he was in the jeep at the time it was alleged that he punched his sibling.
Defending solicitor Gerry Flynn reminded his client that John Power said when he gave evidence that he had a line for dialysis in his face.
Pat agreed that he and his wife had had heard his brother John had a medical condition.
He put the assault complaint made by John down to vindictiveness.
He also stated that the couple had made complaints about the cutting down of a ditch and had reported 'constant harassment' to the gardaí.
Among the complaints was an allegation that a copy of the 'Wexford People' newspaper carrying a report on the previous day in court was waved at him. An attempt to introduce a video made on his phone of this incident was opposed by Garda Inspector Pat McDonald.
After being sworn in, the younger Nuala Power said John shouted at her to go back to Killinick.
On the day of the alleged assault, she said that she went over to her brother-in-law to ask him if he wanted her to call an ambulance. She insisted that no assault took place and that her husband did not leave the jeep until after Nick Power arrived.
The mother of two commented on the long running dispute: 'People aged 92 to ten are affected by this and it is not nice.'
Judge Haughton commented that the Powers appeared to be 'a family at war'.
In the absence of any independent evidence, he dismissed the assault charge saying he could not be sure exactly what happened on Sea Lane that day.
He reckoned that the underlying argument could only be resolved if claims to land were backed up by an application to the Land Registry.