Friday 18 October 2019

Whittys: 'We didn't take law into our own hands'


STEPHEN Whitty Snr told Wexford District Court on Monday how he and his wife, who was recovering from cancer, returned home from holiday in July 2008 to find their house had been egged and their kittens strangled and hanging from the wing mirrors of their car in Michael J Sinnott Drive.

However, he denied 'taking the law into his own hands' and told Judge Donnchadh O Buachalla that he never laid a hand on two teenagers, both of whom he was charged with assaulting.

Whitty, formerly of 16 Michael J Sinnott Drive, said he was down in his back garden when he heard 'a rumble'. When he went to see what was going on he saw his son, Stephen Jnr, and another youngster 'throwing fists'.

He said that the second young complainant's mother then came up and started 'roaring and shouting' at him.

Whitty said he never saw her 14year-old son, telling the judge that he was gone by the time he got out on the street. 'I didn't hit either of them or touch either of them,' he said.

Inspector Pat McDonald said this flew in the face of the evidence of the two teenagers and Andrew Cullen, an independent witness.

Whitty said that the three ' pal around together', which he felt explained Cullen's evidence. He also alleged that Cullen was involved in egging of his home. 'How do you account for their injuries?' asked Inspector McDonald. 'I can't account for them, but if I stood on his head I'm sure I'd be up on a murder charge,' replied Whitty, responding to evidence heard earlier.

Whitty agreed that he suspected the two teenagers of numerous incidents of antisocial behaviour and that he had called the Gardaí in relation to them, and another youth named in court, for kicking his door. He also said he had 'a fair idea' they were responsible for strangling the family's kittens and egging their home, but he denied taking the law into his own hands.

Stephen Whitty Jnr said he left his home to go to Paul Edwards' home when the 14-year-old started shouting at him about the dead kittens and making sarcastic remarks about who may have killed them.

He said that he told him: 'sure you're so soft, what are you going to do about it?' He said the 14-year-old then came down off the wall and pushed him. Whitty said he pushed him back and the two boys became embroiled in a fight.

Whitty said that the 15-year-old then came out of the house and punched him and they too got involved in a fight. Whitty said the first he saw of his father, Stephen Snr, was as he walked back to his own house following the altercation and denied that he was involved.

'How do you account for their injuries?' asked Inspector McDonald. 'That was from me hitting them,' Whitty replied.

The youngster said that he was sometimes bullied by the two teenagers and others, who would shout at him and throw things at him, including on the school bus.

However, he denied the Inspector's assertion that he and his father had taken the law into their own hands.

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