Monday 18 February 2019

Dad cleared of assault tells of breaking burglar’s legs

Martin McCaughey outside Dundalk Circuit Court last night following his acquittal on the charge of assault causing harm
Daniel McCormack: burglar sued Mr McCaughey and was awarded €175,000 reporters

A BUSINESSMAN who was acquitted of assaulting a burglar he hit twice with his car said today that he still relived the night he awoke to find Daniel McCormack armed with a screwdriver in his bedroom.

Speaking on the John Murray Show on Radio 1, Martin McCaughey (48) said: “He wouldn’t have had two broken legs unless he was in my house.”

Mr McCormack (27) received a suspended sentence for the burglary and an award of €175,000 from Mr McCaughey’s insurance for his injuries.

“It’s absolutely disgraceful that an insurance company would pay out that sort of money.” Mr McCaughey said, adding that he was also disgusted that he had received a suspended sentence rather than jail.

A jury last night cleared the property developer of Bunvista, Mount Avenue, Dundalk of assault causing harm to burglar Daniel McCormack at Clann Chullainn Park, Farndreg, Dundalk on June 27 2008.

Daniel McCormack was given a suspended three year jail term for the burglary of the McCaughey family home at an earlier court hearing.

Mr McCaughey recounted how he awoke at about 5.30am that morning to find the intruder coming out of his ensuite bathroom “looking at us with a screwdriver in his hand”.

As McCormack ran from the house, he told how he got into his wife’s car and followed him as he rang the guards.

“He would never have been caught if I hadn’t followed him to keep an eye on his for the guards. My intention was never to do damage to him,” he said.

After tracking him down to a neighbouring estate he said he did not intend to ram him, but just to box him in until the guards got there.

“I had no shoes on me. I had no clothes on me, only boxer shorts. I remember hitting him but my mind drew a blank then,” he said.

Daniel McCormack sustained two broken legs in the incident.

“Imagine if I hadn’t been in the house and it was just my wife and three children. What would have happened? That still goes through my mind today. Would he have run?” Mr McCaughey said.

Asked if he would do the same again he answered: “I was determined that this man had to be caught. If someone broke into my house again I would want them caught.”

Irish Independent

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