Tuesday 20 February 2018

Man who shot thief raiding his father's home warns homeowners not to confront intruders

Warning follows aggravated burglary at house of man in his 80s

Graham Lowndes, who shot an intruder at his father’s home. Picture: Arthur Carron
Graham Lowndes, who shot an intruder at his father’s home. Picture: Arthur Carron
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A man who shot a convicted thief after he was caught raiding his father's county Dublin home has said it makes his blood boil when he hears about similar burglaries against vulnerable elderly people.

Graham Lowndes (51), from Swords in north county Dublin, was speaking after receiving the probation act after admitting having a firearm without a certificate on the day he shot Matthew Fahey (36) in the left arm on April 12, 2012.

The scene in Kettle’s Lane, Swords, Co Dublin. Photo: Collins
The scene in Kettle’s Lane, Swords, Co Dublin. Photo: Collins

Lowndes walked free from Dublin Circuit Court last Friday, but warned others who are put into his position to contact gardaí and not to act rashly in the heat of the moment.

Fahey, who has 61 convictions for theft, burglary and car theft, was hit in the arm after he was caught raiding the house of Graham's elderly father Richard in the townland of Kilsallaghan, Swords.

He is now suing Graham Lowndes in a civil case after being treated for having 17 shotgun pellets in his arm.

Mr Lowndes has said he is glad the four-year ordeal of the criminal case is over.

"I'm delighted with the result. It has been a long time and I am relieved now that the criminal element of it is finished with," he said.

"However, it still makes my blood boil when I hear about other burglaries and attacks on elderly people.

"I still worry about my father and I wouldn't wish that worry on anyone."

But Mr Lowndes said that following his court case he would urge others to be cautious if they ended up in a similar situation where they are confronting trespassers or burglars.

"I would advise people not to be rash in the heat of the moment, but to call the gardaí," he explained.

Mr Lowndes added that hearing that a man in his 80s who was living alone in the Swords area and was burgled in a separate and unrelated attack last Friday has made him realise that people are powerless against this type of crime.

"It is still happening, and what can we do?" he asked.

The latest victim is recovering after being attacked by a gang of three masked thugs.

The three men, two of whom were said to have spoken with Dublin accents, broke into the pensioner's farmhouse on Kettle's Lane near Swords some time between 3am and 4am on Friday morning.

They were armed with weapons described as bats and sticks, and threatened the man, who has mobility difficulties.

Gardaí say the gang then demanded money from the frightened farmer, and assaulted him during the violent aggravated burglary.

"The three male offenders were wearing dark clothing and balaclavas," said a Garda spokesman last night.

"They then fled the scene with a small amount of cash, but the direction they went and the mode of transport they used is unknown," he added.

The elderly man then waited in his home for a long period of time until he was sure the threat to him was over before ringing gardaí.

The man was taken to Beaumont Hospital after raising the alarm.

His injuries were to his hands, as he had tried to defend himself from the blows of the gang. The victim was said to have been badly shaken by his ordeal.

Irish Independent

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