Tuesday 17 September 2019

Struck in the head by his neighbour

Judge's gavel.
Judge's gavel.

The injured party in an assault case described how he was struck in the head and then left lying on the ground by a neighbour who then walked away without checking what damage had been done.

Brian Coulter was giving evidence to the District Court of what happened as he went for a walk on Forth Commons last June in the case of Hugh Thomas Fielding (41) of Hayestown Great.

The assault on Coulter was admitted by the culprit, who has his own small engineering business and also runs a small farm.

The victim in the case spoke of how he went for a walk with his dogs on a summer's day in an area where he had been walking for around 40 years.

He said that he was not expecting what he called the savage blow to the side of the face which knocked him to the ground, though he had heard Fielding shouting.

The older man linked the incident on his attacker's claim for 'adverse possession' of land but told defending solicitor June O'Hanlon that it was common land.

The witness told how he lay where he had fallen for a while before going to the house of a neighbour who called the gardaí.

He was treated by Caredoc for pain and suffered no lasting physical damage.

However, he recalled that in the wake of the incident he was afraid to go out at night or to walk the part of the common where the attack occurred.

'No one knew I was there,' he pointed out as he remembered lying on the ground. 'Fielding walked away.'

Ms O'Hanlon noted that the two men live in close proximity to each other and that there had been significant difficulties with access to land or laneways.

She stressed that her client, now embarrassed and remorseful about what occurred, took responsibility for his unacceptable actions.

The father of three had never been before the court before, the solicitor stated, and he brought a sum of €1,000 by way of compensation.

Judge Gerard Haughton ordered the handing over of the money as he recorded a conviction with a fine of €750 for what he called a totally unprovoked assault.

He remarked that there are ways of resolving land disputes without resorting to violence.

Wexford People