Sunday 17 February 2019

Publican 'had ribs broken' and was left to die on toilet floor, trial told

Family: John Kenny’s wife Kathleen and daughter Gillian at court in Galway. Photo: Hany Marzouk
Family: John Kenny’s wife Kathleen and daughter Gillian at court in Galway. Photo: Hany Marzouk

Ann Healy

A 56-year-old publican was beaten, tied up and left to die on the toilet floor of his pub having suffered blunt force trauma to his head, neck and upper body, a manslaughter trial has heard.

Marian Lingurar Jr (24), with an address in Claregalway, Co Galway, is on trial before Galway Circuit Criminal Court for the manslaughter of John Kenny at his pub in Oughterard on September 25, 2011.

He denies the unlawful killing of Mr Kenny on that date and also denies trespassing at Mr Kenny's pub on the same date with intent to commit theft.

The trial was told the injuries to Mr Kenny were caused by a large object of some kind, and from multiple kicks.

Those involved in the attack fled the scene, leaving behind a safe containing over €25,000 in cash.

The defence told jurors it was the State's case that the accused was acting as a bouncer at Mr Kenny's pub that night.

He said it was the prosecution’s case that the accused, after clearing the pub that night and having got a lift back to Galway with his father, Marian Lingurar Sr. and Florin FItzpatrick, at 1.30a.m.,  returned to Oughterard at 2.20a.m and stayed there for 40 minutes.

"It's our contention that the defendant returned to Oughterard and the only one inference we can draw from that is the desire to steal from the premises and from John Kenny and for that purpose, visit an assault on John Kenny," he said.

The third day of the trial heard evidence from now retired State pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy that while the deceased sustained numerous fractures and bruising over most of his upper body, none of which would have led to rapid death.

She said the cause of death was blunt-force trauma to Mr Kenny's trunk or upper body and positional asphyxia, hypoxia and lack of oxygen.

Contributing factors were his level of intoxication at the time and evidence of early stage heart disease.

Nearly all of his ribs, front and back had been broken in the attack.

He had suffered two large blows to his upper body, front and back, from a "fairly large object".

The hands and arms had defensive-type cuts and scrapes, she added.

The trial heard yesterday that Mr Kenny had been a well respected teacher at Presentation College Athenry, and had opened the pub in Oughterard where he lived at weekends.

Mr Kenny's body was found the following Sunday evening, around 5pm, in the pub by his daughter Gillian Kenny and her mother, Kathleen.

The trial continues tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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