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GREVIOUS BODILY FARM Cork farmer behind vicious attack on female vet claims he's not a violent man 

"You'd think I had robbed an old lady. It's a little bit overrated, all this"

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Scannell exploded in temper at the veterinary inspector

Scannell exploded in temper at the veterinary inspector

Scannell exploded in temper at the veterinary inspector

A farmer who pleaded guilty to viciously beating a female veterinary inspector who was examining his land has refused to apologise for the horror attack.

Andrew Scannell (63) grabbed inspector Maria Wall by the hair, threw her to the ground and slapped her face a number of times while shouting at her to get off his property after she arrived to carry out an inspection on October 2 last year.

The bachelor farmer from Lackaneen, Lissacreasig, near Macroom, pleaded guilty to carrying out the shocking attack and is currently awaiting sentence.

However, when approached by the Sunday World this week, he said he was not a violent man despite leaving his victim covered in bruises and needing counselling.

Mr Scannell spent a number of days in prison on remand after Judge Helen Boyle said: "I am not entirely convinced this man does not need to learn a lesson about attacking people going about their job."

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Andrew Scannell tells our reporter Alan that he admitted his guilt because he felt sick in the garda station

Andrew Scannell tells our reporter Alan that he admitted his guilt because he felt sick in the garda station

Andrew Scannell tells our reporter Alan that he admitted his guilt because he felt sick in the garda station

 

Scannell was released on bail on Tuesday and will be sentenced in May for the attack.

Despite pleading guilty to carrying out the attack and telling the court he would raise €1,000 in compensation for his victim, he bizarrely told the Sunday World this week that he didn't do it.

"I didn't assault her. I didn't tell her to get out at all. I just told her 'look, please leave'. I didn't force her either. I just escorted her down the road and opened the gate and told her to go."

Cork Circuit Court heard that Inspector Wall visited his farm in July last year and found Scannell's cattle crush needed to be repaired. She returned on October 2 to check the work had been done.

Garda Raymond Griffin said: "Insp Wall knocked on the door of the house. She then proceeded to the cattle-crush and found that it was still broken.

"Mr Scannell arrived at the scene and Ms Wall engaged in some small talk with him. She then informed him she was there to inspect the cattle-crush," Garda Griffin told the court.

"He lunged at her. He caught her by the hair and threw her on the ground and slapped her across the face a number of times shouting, 'Get out', and shouting that she was out to get him.

"The whole assault lasted approximately half a minute. Mr Scannell then said, 'Get off the farm and don't come back. You have no right to be here'."

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Ms Wall was left with a number of injuries, including bruising to the right side of her face, her back and hip, and is still receiving counselling over the attack.

Scannell tried to dismiss the attack completely when we visited his farm this week.

"It's a nonsensical case. It's overrated. I didn't assault her. She had been outside my house previously.

"It was a nonsensical thing. You'd think I had robbed an old lady - which I wouldn't do - or beat up a woman which is what they say, but that is not true. It's a little bit overrated, all this."

His farmyard was littered with rubbish and the surrounding buildings, including his home, were in a state of disrepair. Garda tape which had been ripped down was lying in the lane on the way to his property.

When we put it to him that it was bizarre he was claiming he didn't carry out the assault after already pleading guilty, he claimed he did so because he felt sick when he was arrested and wanted to leave the garda station.

"I didn't plead guilty but under duress I did when I was in a cell. I think that I was right to plead guilty because I was sick."

He said he was subsequently diagnosed with pneumonia and received treatment.

Despite his claims that he admitted to the attack because he was ill, he did not change his plea when he appeared in court and even offered up compensation to his victim.

He told the Sunday World he believes the case is being given too much attention.

"With this case they're trying to hype it up ridiculously high.

"You see because you're against the department they're going to make it bigger than [it is]."

Scannell spent six days in Cork Prison on remand before being released on bail on Tuesday.

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The farmyard littered with rubbish

The farmyard littered with rubbish

The farmyard littered with rubbish

 

He told the Sunday World he didn't enjoy the experience but was treated well and spent his time in isolation.

"I don't think anyone likes [being in prison]. I was treated well. I thought it was going to be four days but when the four days were up I was in for two more days.

"I found it alright. I found nothing wrong. I was in isolation and they asked me if I had Covid and if I had tendency to suicide and all this.

"I had my own kit with my own cup of tea. I was treated well and I treated them well."

Scannell said he has had issues with his cattle being stolen and reported it to the department and gardai.

He also said people have broken into his house, which has left him fearful.

His brother died suddenly a number of years ago and he lives alone. he said he has shouted at people on his land previously.

"I roar at fellas and all that."

He said he has never fired any shots at trespassers.

"I wouldn't go that far. I wouldn't fire a shot over someone. I don't want blood on my hands. I might threaten to wallop them and do this and do that but I wouldn't do it.

"There's no point in that but it might solve a few things."

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Garda tape taken down and discarded

Garda tape taken down and discarded

Garda tape taken down and discarded

 

He said he is a very rural man and has only been to Dublin once.

"I was only up there once on business about two years ago. I went to deal with a land issue. I found it OK. I had fun. I expected it to be bigger, you know. I never go to Dublin. I never go anywhere you see, with being a rural farmer."

The court was told he had no GP until recently and Judge Boyle said that was a good thing as she had concerns he may have an undiagnosed illness. She also ordered that a psychiatric report be carried out.

Judge Boyle also ordered Scannell not to interfere with anyone who comes to his farm for the purpose of an inspection of his machinery or animals and was warned he would be returned to jail if he failed to abide by his bail conditions.

She also said he should fence in his property and test his cattle for TB as he would be back before the courts in a different capacity if he failed to do so.

Scannell told the Sunday World he planned to do those things.

"That's no problem. I told the department a year before I was due to repair my crush. I have a pain in my back and haven't it done.

"It's usable and testable. The reason I hadn't tested my cattle was due to Covid.

"There were a couple of people who had Covid around the area and I always had two or three people helping me with testing.

"I have no problem and the vet has no problem testing. It has opened up a bit now."

The case has been adjourned to May 20 to give Scannell time to raise €1,000 in compensation.

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