Man accused of assault on burglar already paid him €175,000 in lawsuit
A BUSINESSMAN charged with assaulting a man who broke into his house was previously successfully sued for €175,000 by the burglar, a court heard yesterday.
Louth-based property developer Martin McCaughey (48) is accused of using a Mercedes car "as a weapon" to assault Daniel McCormack (27).
Mr McCaughey denies reckless endangerment at Clann Chulainn Park, Farndreg, Dundalk, on June 27, 2008. He also denies assault causing harm on the same date.
McCormack previously received a suspended jail sentence for the burglary, but also successfully sued the businessman.
McCormack told Dundalk Circuit Criminal Court yesterday that he had been very drunk when he left his house in the early hours of the morning and went into the home of Mr McCaughey.
He did not remember everything that happened there. But he could recall going in a side door and into an upstairs bathroom where there was jewellery.
He told the jury he found himself there "with jewellery stuck in my pockets".
He then heard shouting and ran from the house and garden towards his home at Clann Chulainn Park.
The court heard Mr McCaughey was dressed in just his boxer shorts and he had shouted at McCormack as he ran from the house.
The court heard that McCormack's house at Benvista, Mount Avenue, overlooked the Clann Chulainn Park estate, and that Mr McCaughey had been involved in building it.
McCormack was in his estate when he said he was struck by a car. He said he "limped on" and got hit a second time by it. He said the accused told him, "I will kill you if you get up".
Both his legs were broken and he was in hospital for two -and-a-half weeks. He was in a wheelchair for six to eight weeks and then on crutches.
Cross-examined by Brendan Grehan, defending, McCormack agreed that when he went into the house he "was trespassing" and "looking for things to steal".
He also agreed he had left his home that morning planning to burgle houses and had done this before.
The court heard McCormack had been charged with burglary at Mr McCaughey's home and received a three-year sentence, which had been suspended.
He agreed he had sued Mr McCaughey and received €175,000. McCormack said he had given €50,000 of this to the hospital where he had been treated.
When Mr Grehan put it to him that Mr McCaughey had wanted him to wait for the gardai to arrive after the incident in Clann Chulainn Park but he (McCormack) was intent on getting away, he agreed.
"I was more afraid of him than he was of me," he said.
Mr Grehan asked if Mr McCaughey had tried to "box you in with his car", and McCormack answered, "yes".
John English, who lives in Clann Chulainn Park, was making coffee at about 6am when he looked out his kitchen window and saw that a Mercedes car "had hit a chap".
He said "it was an accident" and the car had reversed and the driver -- Mr McCaughey -- had got out. "The man was distraught, he had his hands on his head, he was panicking," Mr English told the court.
The trial continues before Judge Gerard Griffin and a jury.