Friday 24 January 2020

Man fled naked across seaside resort after being found in bed with another man's fiancée, court hears

Noel McGreene has pleaded guilty to the assault
Noel McGreene has pleaded guilty to the assault
Stock picture

Gordon Deegan

A west Clare man fled naked across the seaside resort of Kilkee to his granny’s house after being found in bed with another man’s fiancée.

James Bracken (29) made the middle-of-the-night getaway on February 12, 2017 after being whacked across the head by Noel McGreene (37) with a bottle of Baileys after Mr McGreene found Mr Bracken naked in Mr McGreene’s own bed with Mr McGreene’s then fiancée.

In the case, Mr McGreene has pleaded guilty to the assault causing harm of Mr Bracken at Cluain Na Mara, Kilkee on the night in question.

At Ennis Circuit Court, counsel for Mr McGreene, Brian McInerney BL told the court that his client “found himself unexpectedly confronted with circumstances that no red blooded man would wish to be confronted with”.

Mr McInerney said Mr McGreene “was confronted with a large element of provocation”.

He stated: “Mr McGreene accepts that he over-reacted because he pleads guilty to a crime. He picked up the Bailey’s bottle and he ejected Mr Bracken from the premises in fairly short order.”

In evidence, Det Garda Paul Heaslip stated that Mr McGreene returned to his home at 4am where he found Mr Bracken fully naked in his bed with his fiance who also lived at the address.

Det Heaslip stated that Mr McGreene picked up a glass bottle and hit Mr Bracken over the head.

He stated: “Mr Bracken then proceeded to flee the bedroom down the stairs where Mr McGreene tried to punch him while he tried to flee."

Det Heaslip added: “Mr McGreene chased Mr Bracken out the front door where Mr Bracken ran out of Cluain Na Mara, Kilkee wearing no clothes and ran across Kilkee to the home of his grand-mother’s.”

Det Heaslip stated that Mr Bracken went to the A&E unit at University Hospital Limerick later that day where a medical report showed that he had sustained a jagged 6cm long wound to the back of his scalp after being struck by a bottle.

The medical report found that Mr Bracken also sustained bruising around his right eye and had a small wound to the left frontal region of his head.

Det Heaslip stated that the female declined to provide a statement concerning the incident.

Det Heaslip agreed with Mr McInerney that Mr McGreene is a decent of man and doesn't have any history of violence.

Det Heaslip stated: “Mr McGreene is not a violent person. He is very discreet, very polite.”

Det Heaslip stated that neighbours in the area had noticed a commotion with reported loud noises and shouting while Mr Bracken was being assaulted.

He stated: “No local person was willing to give an account of what had occurred on that night."

Mr McInerney stated that Mr Bracken is a man “of a fairly robust constitution, he wouldn’t be a shrinking violet”.

Mr McInerney stated: “Mr Bracken knew Mr McGreene over a long period of time and knew the lady in question. Mr Bracken formed a view that they weren’t in a relationship at that point in time.”

On the night, Mr McInerney stated Mr Bracken “was out socialising with the lady for a considerable period of time including taking a leisurely spin around the sights of Kilkee”

He stated: “They returned to Mr McGreene’s home and sojourned after a period of time of engaging in social tipling of alcohol and they retired to the bedroom. Mr McGreene’s bedroom."

He stated: “The two were drinking Baileys and they brought the bottle of Baileys to the bedroom. Mr McGreene returned to his bedroom unannounced and he found this strange naked gentleman in his bed.”

Mr McInerney stated that the nature of circumstances of the assault “would be highly unusual in terms of criminality and the nature of the circumstances quickly spread around Kilkee”.

Mr McInerney stated that “the local community hold Mr McGreene in very high regard that they told the Gardai that they they didn’t want to become involved in anything that might bring adverse consequences for Mr McGreene”.

He stated: “These were ordinary decent law abiding citizens and when they heard what happened didn’t want to become involved. The community made their own judgment.”

Mr McInerney stated that Mr McGreene is a father of four and his first partner died of cancer a number of years ago and he was left to bring up the four children by himself.

Mr McInerney stated that Mr Bracken’s mother came back to get her son’s clothing and Mr McGreene didn’t hand it out the front door - he threw it out the top window.

Mr McGreene has also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of possession of €3,230 worth of cannabis for the purposes of selling at Skenhanagh, Clarecastle on November 24th 2017.

Det Heaslip accepted that Mr McGreene was delivering and not engaging in selling the drugs.

Mr McGreene has been on remand in prison since October concerning the two offences.

Judge Gerard Keys adjourned sentencing in the two cases to Friday as he was told that Mr Bracken wishes to make a victim impact statement.

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