Thursday 23 January 2020

Father died following violent assault after he had told his son he was a 'disappointment', trial hears

Anthony Tims died at his home; his son Mark has pleaded guilty to manslaughter
Anthony Tims died at his home; his son Mark has pleaded guilty to manslaughter
Witness: Elizabeth ‘Lil’ McDonagh leaves court after giving evidence in former partner Mark Tims’s trial. photo: collins courts
Tony Tims

Eoin Reynolds

A woman has described seeing her former partner kicking and punching his elderly father after the pensioner returned home following his 74th birthday celebrations.

Elizabeth 'Lil' McDonagh said a row erupted over a burnt breakfast and Anthony Tims told his son he was a "disappointment" and wished he had never been born.

Then Mark Tims, who was "in a rage", put his father in a headlock, punched him twice in the head and kicked him when he fell to the ground.

Ms McDonagh was giving evidence in the trial of her former partner Mark Tims (48) who has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to the murder of his father Anthony 'Tony' Tims at the home they shared at Rowlagh Green, Clondalkin, Dublin, on July 13, 2018.

In her direct evidence, Ms McDonagh told prosecution counsel Michael Delaney SC that she went out with the accused man for about 10 years. She was also a carer for Anthony Tims who had health problems including a difficulty in breathing.

His son lived with his father, she said, and both men were "fond of the drink".

She described the relationship between father and son as "like cat and dog", saying they often argued.

On the morning before Mr Tims died, Ms McDonagh went to Rowlagh Green to cook breakfast for the two men but Anthony Tims had already cooked it. Mark complained the food was burnt and he wouldn't eat it. "He had a bad attitude," she said.

That afternoon she went shopping with Anthony Tims and he went to Finche's pub in Clondalkin to celebrate his 74th birthday. Mark Tims spent the day at home drinking cans of Guinness and playing games in his room.

Anthony Tims returned home at about 8pm and told the witness he had a "great day in the bookies" and people in the pub had bought him drinks for his birthday.

She said Mark made a joke about his breakfast being "cremated" and, "out of the blue", Anthony told him to get out of the house and threatened to call the guards. This was something Anthony would often say when they argued.

Ms McDonagh said: "Mark just jumped out of the chair and headlocked him and gave him two digs to the face and he fell to the ground."

She described Mark kicking his father in the chest and head and added: "I was begging him to stop but he wouldn't stop."

The older man asked her to "please help me". She said: "I tried to help but I couldn't. He was too strong."

Ms McDonagh went next door and asked the neighbours to call the guards because, she said, she knew Mark had gone too far.

When she returned to the house Anthony was on the floor in the kitchen.

Before leaving on his bike, she said Mark came back to the kitchen and kicked his father another two times in the chest.

An ambulance arrived a short time later but Ms McDonagh said she knew he was already dead.

The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury.

Irish Independent

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