Friday 23 February 2018

Pensioner died month after teen attacked, court told

John Golden outside his home at Nedd, Co Cavan, where it is alleged he was attacked in September 2010
John Golden outside his home at Nedd, Co Cavan, where it is alleged he was attacked in September 2010

Natasha Reid

A 19-year-old has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court charged with murdering a 73-year-old man, whom he claimed had been 'inappropriate with him' in his youth.

Brendan McGovern, of Killahurk, Carrigallen, Co Leitrim, has pleaded not guilty to murdering John Golden on October 6, 2010 in Co Cavan.

A jury of six men and five women heard the pensioner was found unconscious a month earlier in his cottage in rural Nedd, Doogarry, Killeshandra.

Bernard Condon SC, prosecuting, told the jury that as part of their investigation, gardai interviewed Mr McGovern, who lived "not an enormous distance away".

"He told them he'd been at Mr Golden's house in the early hours of the seventh," said the barrister yesterday.

"He made allegations that Mr Golden had been inappropriate with him in his youth."

He said that the accused, who was 17 at the time of the alleged assault, told gardai he had seen Mr Golden walk by a pub in which he had been drinking.

"(He said) that he went to Mr Golden's house to give him a slap," he said.

"And that he assaulted Mr Golden, thumped his fist into his back passage and kicked him in the head and face."


The pensioner's nearest neighbour, Seamus Galligan, testified that he called in to Mr Golden's home on the morning of September 7, after seeing his door open.

He found him lying on his bedroom floor, partly under the bed and wearing only his shirt.

"All you could see were his two legs out behind him. His head was straight in underneath the bed," he explained.

"There was blood on the floor and blood on his back passage." Mr Galligan called the emergency services, and the gardai and an ambulance arrived.

Paramedic PJ Cahill said Mr Golden was unconscious but breathing when he arrived.

"We then noticed there was blood around his anal passage and on the floor," he said.

His colleague, Paul Mulholland, said that when he looked under the bed he could see that Mr Golden was holding on to a bar. He said he loosened his grip and lifted him on to the bed in the narrow bedroom.

He said that they noticed "fresh blood" on the bed after they moved him on to an ambulance chair.

"He was a critical patient," he said. "He stopped breathing en route (to the hospital) at one stage and I had to manually ventilate him."

The court then heard from a clinical nurse manager who said that Mr Golden was brought to Cavan General Hospital's A&E unit with a suspected stroke.

However, Eilish Sweeney testified that she questioned that finding when she noticed he had two black eyes, bruising, a circular burn-type wound to his groin area and a rectal injury.

She said she phoned the gardai and voiced her concern. The court heard that Mr Golden's condition did not improve during his month in hospital and that he died on October 6.

The trial before Mr Justice Paul Carney continues on Monday and is expected to last six to seven days.

Irish Independent

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