Thursday 18 January 2018

Man denies claims he attacked former father-in-law during row

Tom Tuite

A 34-YEAR-OLD man has denied claims that he attacked his former father-in-law during a row about when his son was supposed to be collected.

Derek White of Colthurst Gardens, Lucan, Dublin has pleaded not guilty to assaulting businessman and convicted fraudster, Peter Bolger, at his Templeogue home, in Dublin, on June 5, 2010.

In evidence, Mr Bolger told Dublin District Court that after an overnight visit he had dropped his eight-year-old grandson at Mr White's parents' home. He said that later Mr White arrived at his house at Glendown Lawn and asked him in an aggressive tone why he had brought the child to his parents.

“He struck me with his fist in my face, I fell back into the porch,” he said.

He alleged that Mr White then struck him a second time in the face. Mr Bolger said he went behind the front door and Mr White kept pushing it “while his hand was swinging around the door again trying to strike me”.

He also claimed that Mr White shouted abuse, and was calling his former wife – Mr Bolger's daughter- “an effing bitch.

Defence counsel Karl Monahan said Mr White had been taken by surprise by Mr Bolger's decision to bring the child to his parents' house. Mr Monahan put it to him that he became aggressive to his former son-in-law who thought he was going to be struck.

However, Mr Bolger denied that suggestion and said “I am not given to violence”.

He also agreed in cross-examination with Mr Monahan that he had a previous conviction for failing to provide a tax return and fraudulent trading in connection with a company he had directed.

He said he was left with a mark under his right eye and in evidence his wife Pauline Bolger told the court that the mark was under his left eye. She told the court that Mr White “came in with force” and had been trying to hit her husband. Later she said she wanted to clarify her evidence and told the court “he did hit him, there is no doubt about it”.

Noleen Doyle, Mr Bolger's sister-in-law, told the court that she had been in the kitchen and heard a “kerfuffle” in the hallway. Mr White was aggressive and was trying to punch Mr Bolger at the doorway.

Mr White took the stand and told the court that he did not punch his former father-in-law. He said he was due to collect his son at 3pm but Mr Bolger had dropped the boy at his parents' house at about midday.

He claimed Mr Bolger became aggressive when he asked him why he had done that and he thought he was going to be hit by him. Mr White said that during the row he felt threatened adding, “I put my hands up to stop him.”

He claimed pushed Mr Bolger open-handed and grazed his ear. He put his foot against the door but he could not open it because Mr Bolger had his full weight bend it, he said.

The court also heard that in his statement to gardai he said that when he pushed Mr Bolger he made contact with his forehead.

He also said he had wanted to discuss with Mr Bolger payment for dental treatment for his son.

“If I punched him as hard as he said I punched him there would have been serious harm to his face. If I hit him on the chin the way he said I did I would have broken his chin,” he told the court.

After hearing the prosecution and defence witnesses, Judge Michael Walsh said he would give his verdict on Friday.

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