Monday 22 January 2018

'He was also covered in blood' - Carer describes finding the bodies of two elderly brothers

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Natasha Reid

A WOMAN, who had cared for two elderly brothers for almost a decade, became emotional in court today, as she described finding their bodies covered in blood in their Mayo home four years ago.

Helen Maloney was giving evidence to a murder trial at the Central Criminal Court this morning.

Alan Cawley of Four Winds, Corrinbla, Ballina is charged with murdering both Thomas Blaine and John (Jack) Blaine, who were beaten to death in their Castlebar home.

The 30-year-old has admitted killing the brothers, one of whom was disabled and was scalded during the assault. However, he has pleaded not guilty to murdering them on 10th July 2013 at New Antrim Street in the town.

Ms Maloney told Denis Vaughan Buckley SC, prosecuting, that she was employed as a ‘Home Help’ by the HSE and had been caring for the Blaine brothers for around nine years, when they died.

She became emotional when he asked her about her first impression of them.

“Two absolute gentlemen,” she replied.

The barrister was then given permission to lead her through her evidence, and put the contents of a document to her.

She agreed with him that they were ‘very vulnerable, reclusive and had speech impediments. She agreed that Jack Blaine had both a speech and hearing problem, and had a spinal injury from an accident in England many years earlier. He had also suffered from dementia in his last few months.

She added that she used to call to see them three times a day, 365 days a year.

She then asked to answer his first question.

“They were two absolute gentlemen, a pleasure to look after,” she said. “They gave so much love and respect to me. They’ll be in my mind until the day I die. I loved them dearly, and so did the people of Castlebar.”

She said they were loved throughout the town, where their nickname was ‘The boys’.

She described them as a treasure.

“They’d never hurt anybody,” she said, before describing the scene she found that morning.

She said she arrived at their house at 7.15am, went into the kitchen and called out to them in the same way she had everyday:

“Are you ready to rock and roll?” she said.

She got no answer and looked into Tom Blaine’s bedroom, where she saw him lying on the floor, with his legs on the bed.

She said she shouted: ‘Tom, Tom. It’s Helen’, but there was no response.

She then saw a pool of blood on the floor and that he was saturated in blood. She said there was blood on the walls and there were bloody handprints in the room. She could see that the blood was coming from his head.

She said she went out the front door and asked two councilmen to call the gardai before running back into the house.

“I couldn’t find Jack,” she explained.

She ran upstairs to his bedroom and found it totally ransacked.

“I searched, thinking he might have been hiding with fear, but there was no Jack,” she recalled.

She returned downstairs and found the back door fully opened. She Saw Jack Blaine on his back on the ground, half in and half out of the house.

“He was also covered in blood all over,” she said.

The case continues.

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