Wednesday 25 April 2018

Woman to stand trial over father's death 23 years ago

Tom Tuite and Tom Brady

A 39-YEAR-OLD woman is to stand trial accused of assault with intent to murder her father, who died after he was attacked in his south Dublin home in 1988.

Father-of-two Christopher Payne was attacked at the house in Rutland Grove, Crumlin, in May 1988, by a group of men armed with a hatchet.

Mr Payne, who also suffered from a chronic kidney ailment, was treated in hospital for serious head injuries sustained in the attack but never recovered. He died six months later, aged 38.

Two men were jailed in 1989 in connection with the incident.

Yesterday, following a review by the garda cold case unit, Christopher Payne's daughter, Sharon Cullen, who now resides in Ballyjamesduff in Co Cavan, was brought before Dublin District Court.

She was aged 15 at the time of the alleged incident and now faces two charges of assault with intent to murder Christopher Payne, and assaulting her father causing grievous bodily harm, on May 13, 1988.

Det Sgt Daniel Kelly told Judge Timothy Lucey that Ms Cullen was arrested in Ballyjamesduff on Monday evening and was then brought to Crumlin garda station where she "made no reply" when charged.

Judge Lucey also heard that the DPP had directed that Ms Cullen be "returned for trial to the Central Criminal Court on both charges".

Defence solicitor Lorraine Stevens said that she had already canvassed the bail terms with Det Sgt Kelly. She also said that "given the nature of the offence", an independent surety of €5,000 has been proposed.


Ms Cullen, who was wearing a dark overcoat, and black striped trousers, sat throughout the brief hearing with her hands on her lap. She remained silent and was not required to speak during the proceedings.

Det Sgt Kelly agreed that there was no objection to bail, subject to conditions being set.

Judge Lucey remanded Ms Cullen on bail in her own bond of €1,000 with an independent surety of €5,000, to appear again on January 17 next when she is to be served with a book of evidence.

He imposed bail conditions on Ms Cullen and told her that she must sign on twice a week at a garda station and "surrender her passport".

Free legal aid was granted after the judge heard that Ms Cullen was unemployed.

Irish Independent

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