Brothers acquitted of assaulting their elderly neighbour
Two brothers have been acquitted of assaulting their elderly neighbour after they claimed it was another brother who was solely responsible for the attack.
Paul Smith (49) of Oranmore Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin and Stephen Smith (41) of Gate Lodge, Dundalk, Co. Louth had both pleaded not (NOT) guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Jenny Lynch causing her harm on March 7, 2015 in Ballyfermot.
Their brother Andrew Smith has been jailed for two and half years after he previously pleaded guilty to assaulting Ms Lynch causing her harm.
Andrew Smith was produced by prison officers to give evidence in the trial this morning (Friday). He told the jury that he hit Ms Lynch twice in the head and that neither Paul nor Stephen hit the woman.
He said Stephen was on crutches at the time having been shot a week earlier, “he was in bits”, he told the jury.
The jury of four women and eight men returned its verdict following 25 minutes OF deliberation on day three of the trial. Judge Martin Nolan thanked the members for their service.
The Smiths embraced their supporters in court after the jury left and Judge Nolan discharged them both from the indictment.
During the trial Ms Lynch told Monika Leech BL, prosecuting, that all three Smiths assaulted her after she was walking home from mass.
She said she needed four or five stitches to her lip, had a busted nose, two black eyes, a lump to the side of her head and a sore shoulder following the attack.
She told the jury it was her belief and the belief of the gardaí that both Paul and Andrew were in a car that hit her son Eddie. She accepted that neither of them has ever been charged with his killing.
She denied that she wrongly accused Paul and Stephen Smith of assaulting her because she believed they had killed her son.
Ms Lynch refused to accept a suggestion from Pieter Le Vert BL defending Paul Smith, that when Andrew Smith assaulted her she took this as an opportunity to get Paul and Stephen Smith “in another way”.
“You saw them as your son's murderers and this is the motive behind the lies you are telling about them,” Mr Le Vert said to Ms Lynch.
Luigi Rea BL, defending Stephen Smith suggested to Ms Lynch, “You became fixated in your mind that the Smiths were to blame for the death of your son.”
Paul Smith told the jury that he was not involved in Eddie's murder. He said he arrived down to find Andrew attacking Ms Lynch and he tried to drag him back into the house, while Stephen was trying to get his mother inside.
He told the jury that Stephen was in no condition to hit Jenny Lynch and that he didn't hit her.
Stephen Smith told Luigi Rea BL, defending, that Eddie Lynch was his best friend. He said he would never hit Ms Lynch because she was his best friend's mother.