A 39 year old man who denied stabbing his second cousin with a ‘Rambo-type’ knife was found not guilty by direction of the trial judge at Dundalk Circuit Court on Friday.
Arthur McGinley of Drumheath Gardens, Ladywell, Blanchardstown had contested to charges of causing serious harm, assault causing harm, aggravated burglary and criminal damage at an address at Williamson’s Place, Dundalk on August 14th 2013.
The alleged victim told the jury on the first day of the trial last Wednesday that he had been sitting talking to his sister in her bedroom around 8.30am when he heard a bang and a window smashing followed by roaring and shouting.
As he walked out of the room, the defendant – his father’s first cousin, called out his name and came towards him with a knife, cutting and stabbing him and swinging the knife about.
The witness said the side of his face¸ his hands, the back of his head, his chest and arms were injured and he can’t straighten his left middle finger.
The complainant said he was backed into a room, and managed to shut the door.
During cross examination by the Defence, the complainant denied making a false allegation.
When it was put to him, that he’d withdrawn his statement of complaint at one point, he said that was out of the goodness of his heart, as he didn’t want Arthur McGinley to be put away and his family broken up. The witness said he’d forgiven him and they’d made up.
When asked about a video of him last December saying he knew who attacked him and it wasn’t Arthur McGinley or another individual, the complainant said “I didn’t want to put this man away at the time” but he said he changed his mind following two separate alleged incidents involving his brother and a nephew.
When he was told his brother in law – who was in the house, will say that there was a row with two men, one carrying out a machete, who were demanding money for drugs, the complainant denied the claim saying “I’m not a man for drugs”.
The jury also heard when he was admitted for psychiatric treatment this January, the alleged injured party told the hospital Arthur McGinley’s was his next of kin.
The complainant’s mother told the jury she was asleep with her husband between 8 and 9am, when they were woken by the sound of a window being broken downstairs.
They jumped up and she heard footsteps running up the stairs and saw the defendant and another man.
She claimed the other individual beat her husband with a hockey stick or golf club and she saw Arthur McGinley running down the stairs after he’d cut up her son saying “I got him, I got him”.
She added her son was bleeding and it was like an old horror film. She rejected a Defence suggestion that it was drugs related, and that she’d prepared her account – identifying the accused, after speaking with her son and husband.
The woman’s daughter told the jury she was talking to her brother when she heard roaring and Arthur McGinley pushed in her bedroom door. She claimed he’d a big dagger knife in his right hand and kept cutting her brother, who she said underwent three operations. She added the accused has said “I got him” three times and denied during cross-examination, that her brother had made up who attacked him and doesn’t want to tell the guards who it really was.
On Thursday the alleged victim’s father outlined to the jury how he was asleep in his bedroom upstairs between 8 and 9am, when he heard a window breaking downstairs and banging.
He said man – who is NOT the accused came in on top of him with a hurley stick and some kind of a knife or blade.
He said Arthur McGinley was in the room next door, where there was roaring and shouting, and he heard him shouting “Come on. I got him, I got him, I got him” before he left the building.
The witness said that blood was running out of his son, who’d been stabbed and ‘cut up like a bit of meat’.
He added that everybody was terrified and his grandchildren were in the house at the time.
During cross examination by the Defence, the witness rejected a suggestion that his son had taken cocaine in the early hours of the morning, or that one of the attacks had demanded money for drugs of the complainant - and insisted his son doesn’t take drugs.
When it was put to him, that he, his son, wife and daughter who gave evidence the day before, had decided to blame the defendant for what happened, the man insisted the accused and another person came “to do this damage to my son’ and added “Arthur McGinley is a danger to the public’
The jury heard that another of the man’s daughters and a son in law were in the house with their children at the time – but both declined to make a statement to gardai about the incident.
The trial was told that gardai arrived on the scene, around 9.15am following a 999 call.
The complainant was being treated in the back of an ambulance and was brought to Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda initially where he was treated for lacerations to his scalp, forehead, chest and hand.
The 34 year old was transferred to St. James’ hospital two days later and underwent plastic surgery for tendon and nerve damage to his left middle finger – which he was unable to extend.
Gardai took statements from the alleged victim, his mother, father and one of his sisters but the jury heard statements were not forthcoming from another sister and her husband – who is a brother of Arthur McGinley, who were both in the house at the time.
An independent witness told gardai at the scene, that he had seen a stocky man in a white t-shirt and pony tail in an Opel Zafira which was driven by a woman.
However, the investigating garda said this witness declined to make a statement as he believed it was a family matter and his getting involved would be of no benefit to himself.
Following legal argument at the end of the Prosecution’s case, on Friday morning Judge Terry O’Sullivan directed the jurors to find Mr. McGinley not guilty of all four counts.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.