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Man meant to wound brother, court told

A BACHELOR who denies murdering his brother told gardai that he thought he would only wound him after a row over where their mother was buried, a court heard yesterday.

Cecil Tomkins (63), of New Lodge Nursing Home, Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Walter Tomkins (66) at Cronlea, Shillelagh, Co Wicklow, on July 1, 2010.

Cecil Tomkins, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, told gardai that he shot his brother Walter, who was also a bachelor, in the hallway of the house they shared because he did not follow his mother's burial wishes.

The court heard that their mother, Bella Tomkins, had been buried just days before, on June 28, locally in Aghowle with her late husband who died in 1999, but that it had been her wish to be buried in Gorey, Co Wexford.

Yesterday the court heard the accused told gardai that he took his gun out of his bedroom and loaded it with a cartridge while his brother was in the bathroom, then let one shot off at about chest height while he was halfway down the hallway.

When asked by gardai, in the interview after he was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm, if he was angry at the time, he replied: "Ah, I was.

"It was entirely over where they buried my mother. If she'd been buried in Gorey, it would never have happened. I challenged him about it that day, that's how the row started," he added.

"I never thought it was as serious as it was," he said. "I thought it would only wound him," he later told gardai.

He said his brother weighed 20 stone and that "he'd hit you a belt very quick".

"I was sort of in fear of him, he is not the sort of fellow you would mess with," he said.

Confronted

"I was not going to take any chances. He could charge you like a bull," Mr Tomkins told gardai.

He said the incident happened at 7pm because the weather forecast was on. It was only a spur of the moment thing, he added.

He said his brother came in and turned the television on and when he confronted him, his brother denied taking the envelope containing his mother's burial wishes and hymns for the funeral.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Khalid Jabbar told John O'Kelly, defending, it was a fatal injury, which did not have an immediate cause of death and was attributed to a single shotgun wound.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent