Wednesday 23 October 2019

Farmer (90) was killed in a 'vicious and sustained attack', counsel tells jury

Paddy Lyons: 90-year-old was found dead in an armchair at home
Paddy Lyons: 90-year-old was found dead in an armchair at home

Alison O'Riordan

Retired farmer Paddy Lyons was beaten to death in a "vicious and sustained attack" by murder accused Ross Outram, a prosecution barrister has told his trial.

John O'Kelly SC, prosecuting, also told a jury that Mr Outram's claim of self-defence "does not bear thinking about".

Mr O'Kelly was giving his closing speech at the Central Criminal Court.

However, Mr Outram's defence team has argued that their client could not be made liable for "a fall" which saw Mr Lyons (90) break his hip if it was unconnected to the original injuries inflicted on him by the accused.

Mr Outram (28), of Ferryland, Waterford Road, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Paddy Lyons at Loughleagh, Ballysaggart, Lismore, Co Waterford, at a time unknown between February 23 and 26, 2017.

A pathologist has given evidence that Mr Lyons suffered multiple blows to his head and neck from a blunt weapon, before his blood-smeared body was found slumped in his armchair at his home.

The jury has heard medical evidence that Mr Lyons suffered a "stiffness or fusion" of his right shoulder during childbirth and could only keep it in one position.

Mr Outram told gardaí in interviews that he had "fought back" after Mr Lyons hit him with a walking stick and shovel, and that he had taken up to 100 Xanax that day. A pharmaceutical expert has told the jury that there is "no proof" that Mr Outram had taken Xanax.

Closing the prosecution case, Mr O'Kelly told the court that it was no coincidence that Mr Outram had ended up in Mr Lyons's house as he knew the old man had money and he was "going to get it".

Mr O'Kelly submitted that no one knows how much truth, if any, is in Mr Outram's version of events as he had lied consistently in his first six interviews.

"He moves from a position of saying he remembered nothing to one where he is giving a detailed description of what went on in Mr Lyons's house and his motive for going there," outlined the barrister.

This was a case of violent robbery performed in the middle of the night by a young and strong 26-year-old man against a 90-year-old with a non-functioning arm, said Mr O'Kelly.

In conclusion, Mr O'Kelly said this was a "vicious and sustained attack" on a defenceless old man and he urged the jury to bring in a guilty verdict.

Addressing the jury, Michael O'Higgins SC, for Mr Outram, said his client had done a terrible thing but "the fall" was a live issue in the case, which could not be gotten away from.

Summarising his client's case, Mr O'Higgins said there was an "altercation" where Mr Lyons suffered injuries which caused a brain injury and bleeding but it did not cause his death. The jury will hear the remainder of Mr O'Higgins closing speech this morning.

Irish Independent

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