Friday 22 September 2017

Sentencing adjourned for farmer who made men strip

Brian McDonald

A FARMER who ordered two men from a repossession company to strip naked and get into a pen with an agitated boar is to be sentenced in September.

Pig farmer Donal Connaughton (54), from Elfeet, Newtowncashel, Co Longford, was found guilty of two counts of false imprisonment, two charges of threatening to cause serious harm, one of assault and two of criminal damage.

He was found not guilty on another charge of assault by a jury at his trial in Longford Circuit Court last December.

Sentence was due to be passed at Longford Circuit Court, sitting in Roscommon, yesterday, but Judge Tony Hunt was told that defence counsel was unable to attend the sitting due to an "unforeseen difficulty".

Judge Hunt agreed to a defence request to adjourn sentencing to September, but marked the case peremptory against the accused.

SCUFFLE

The court had previously heard that the two repossession company workers feared for their lives after going to JAC Pigs Ltd in Co Longford to repossess items on behalf of GE Money.

Patrick Mulvey and Justin Tighe, employees of a repossession company called Assets Security, based in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, had called to Connaughton's pig farm on April 29, 2010, to take away a generator and two power washers after arrears had arisen.

A scuffle had taken place in the yard at the pig farm, during which the men said they were assaulted.

They had told the court in evidence that Donal Connaughton had ordered them to strip and get into the pen with the agitated boar and they feared they were going to be violated by the animal.

Mr Connaughton attended yesterday's brief court hearing and left the courthouse after consulting with members of his legal team.

Irish Independent

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