Elderly woman denies wrongly accusing neighbours of assault

Paul Smith
Paul Smith
Stephen Smith
Stephen Smith

An elderly woman has denied that she wrongly accused her neighbours of assaulting her because she believed they had killed her son.

Paul Smith (49) of Oranmore Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin and Stephen Smith (41) of Gate Lodge, Dundalk, Co. Louth have both pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Jenny Lynch causing her harm on March 7, 2015 in Ballyfermot.

Monika Leech BL, prosecuting told the jury in opening the case that the accused's brother, Andrew Smith, had already pleaded guilty to the assault and had been dealt with by another court.

Ms Lynch, who is in her eighties, 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”.

Ms Lynch 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 but accepted that neither of them were ever charged with his killing.

“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.

She refused to accept this and told the jury that all three of the Smiths, Paul, Stephen and Andrew, attacked her.

Mr Le Vert told Ms Lynch “Paul said he saw Andrew hit you but it was only Andrew that hit you. He said he never saw Stephen hit you.”

The complainant replied that she was not lying. “Paul thumped the head off me,” she said. She agreed with Mr Le Vert that every time she saw Paul Smith she called him murderer.

Ms Lynch agreed with Luigi Rea BL, defending Stephen Smith, that her son went to bed after getting struck by the car but that he later died of a ruptured spleen.

She said she didn't know why he didn't go to hospital when Mr Rea suggested to her it was because he was “living at a time when crime was out of control and he was afraid to go to hospital”.

“You became fixated in your mind that the Smiths were to blame for the death of your son,” Mr Rea said.

The trial continues before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury of four women and eight men.

Ms Lynch handed counsel her son Eddie's death certificate which confirmed he died of a ruptured spleen as a result of an unlawful killing having been struck by a car.

She said she didn't know Stephen Smith reported her to the gardaí for harassing his mother, Bridie, and denied every parking outside his mother's home.

“I am afraid of my life of Bridie. I am afraid of my life of Paul Smith” Ms Lynch said.

She accepted that Stephen Smith had been on crutches at the time of the assault having been shot a week earlier but refused to accept that he didn't hit her.

Mr Rea told Ms Lynch that his client would testify that he phoned the gardaí during the assault because of her behaviour towards his mother.

She refused to accept that she was responsible for sending a mass card to the Smith's house which read “Eenie meenie miney moe, catch a Smith by the toe...” and was signed “RIP xxx”.

Ms Lynch refused to accept a suggestion from Mr Le Vert that she knew Eddie was under threat because he owed money.

“Do you think if I knew he was under threat I wouldn't have done something about it, come on,” she replied.

She refused to accept a further suggestion that she had asked Paul Smith to intervene and to try and get Eddie out of the trouble he was in.

“Paul needed more help than anyone – why would I ask someone who needed help to help my son?” Ms Lynch said.

Stephen Smith told gardaí in interview that he went to bed after the Angelus and saying his prayers.

He said he would never hit the complainant and wouldn't even curse at her. “I was in no state to run down the road,” Stephen Smith said referring to the fact that he needed a crutch to get around.

“Jenny has attacked me a number of times but I never reported it because I understood her anger,” he told gardaí before he said she was either lying or mistaken.

He claimed Jenny Lynch had previously both verbally and physically attacked his mother.