A man in his early 20's, Adam Marlowe (23), appeared in Dublin Circuit Criminal court yesterday, charged with aggravated burglary and assault, as reported in the Irish Independent.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges or assaulting elderly farmer, Malachy Turley (81), on July 29th, 2016. The accused also pleaded not guilty to the theft of €50 during the raid of the farmer's house.
The court heard that the farmer, Mr. Turley, lived in the house alone since the death of his mother over 30 years ago. The courts also heard that the 81-year-old had been renting out his farm to those who keep horses for €100 per month, having retired from the profession himself.
The victim told the courts of the events of July 19th, when he awoke in the early hours of the morning to have a cup of tea and slice of apple tart. He returned to his bed but was awoken from his slumber to find one of the burglars standing in his doorway.
The courts heard that the farmer instinctively grabbed for his walking stick, to use for self-defence, but saw two other men along with one of the thieves. The men were armed with balaclavas and carried blades and bats as weapons. One is reported to have been carrying a firearm, though it may have been a fake. The farmer was then pushed back onto his bed by intruders, who beat him and demanded to know where a safe was located.
The intruders knew the farmer to call him by his first name and one of the thieves continued to hit and beat the farmer, as the other two searched for valuables.
"I was just lying there and taking the beating, not thinking ahead," Mr Turley told the courts.
The farmer was knocked unconscious at one stage during the burglary. In attempts to find money, the thieves upturned the farmer's bedroom, putting the mattress on top of him. This is where he remained until they were gone and he found €50 was stolen, along with two small bags of coins
The farmer subsequently called his brother and then got medical attention. He was prescribed painkillers, suffered significant bruising and needed five stitches in his hand. The courts then heard that a piece of blue material, matching clothing of the accused, was discovered in the farmer’s room by the Garda forensics team.
A further sitting of the courts is due, with a Jury of eight men and four women.