Teenager guilty of killing pensioner who he said abused him
A teenager with intellectual difficulties has been found guilty of killing the pensioner he claimed sexually abused him when he was younger.
Brendan McGovern, of Killahurk, Carrigallen, Co Leitrim, was on trial at the Central Criminal Court, charged with murdering 73-year-old John Golden in Co Cavan on October 6, 2010. The 19-year-old pleaded not guilty, but admitted assaulting the pensioner in his home in Nedd, Doogarry, Killeshandra.
The jury found him not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter.
The five-day trial heard that the pensioner was rushed to hospital on September 7, 2010, after a neighbour found him unconscious under his bed in his prefabricated house. He died of septicemia and other complications a month later.
The teenager said he had gone to Mr Golden's home to confront him about his continued taunts. However, he said that Mr Golden presumed he had arrived for sex and handed him a condom and took off his trousers.
The defendant said this made him angry, that he put the condom on his fist and punched the pensioner in his back passage before kicking and beating him.
The trial heard that Mr Golden had been the subject of a garda investigation during the 1990s, when he admitted showing pornographic videos to boys.
The trial also heard from a clinical psychologist, who said the accused would have difficulties thinking through the consequences of his actions due to Borderline Intellectual Functioning.
The prosecution had argued that even if the jury took the view that John Golden had interfered with the accused, no person had the right to take the law into his own hands.
"We don't live in the Wild West," said Bernard Condon, prosecuting.
Patrick Gageby, defending, pointed out that Mr Golden's cause of death was given as a hospital-acquired illness and noted that his original head and rectal injuries were healing when he died.
"The prosecution must prove that Brendan McGovern caused the death of John Golden in the legal sense," he said.
Mr Justice Paul Carney remanded McGovern on bail for sentencing in October.