A 48-year-old man "viciously" kicked and punched his father to death following a drunken argument on the deceased's 74th birthday, a barrister has told a murder trial at the Central Criminal Court.
Mark Tims, with an address at Rowlagh Green, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Anthony 'Tony' Tims at the home they shared in Rowlagh Green on July 13, 2018.
Prosecuting counsel Michael Delaney SC today opened the trial and told the jury that he is confident the evidence will show that the accused man "assaulted his father in a vicious and sustained manner that led to his death."
Mr Delaney said the accused and his father lived together at the family home in Rowlagh Green but they had a "difficult and volatile" relationship and had many arguments over the years. Both men were heavy drinkers, he said, and many of their arguments related to their drinking.
July 13 was Anthony Tims's birthday and he spent the afternoon and evening drinking in Finches pub in Clondalkin before returning home at about 8pm.
The accused man had been drinking cans at home and had, Mr Delaney said, "consumed a considerable amount of alcohol".
An argument started, counsel said, and it was "probably a case of one word borrowing another" before the accused "set upon his father punching him in the face several times."
Mr Delaney said a mug may have been used to strike the older man and when Mr Tims fell to the floor the accused kicked him in the head and the trunk.
The accused man's partner Elizabeth 'Liz' McDonagh tried to intervene, counsel said, but the accused pushed her back. She went to a neighbour for help and when she returned she found Anthony Tims on the kitchen floor "in some distress and calling for help".
Mr Delaney said the accused then grabbed his coat and, according to Ms McDonagh, kicked his father again a number of times before leaving on a bicycle.
Mr Tims was taken to Tallaght Hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 10pm that night. A post mortem would show that he suffered multiple fractured ribs which caused air to enter his chest and led to both his lungs collapsing, causing his death.
'Substantial amount of alcohol'
Meanwhile, Mr Delaney said, the accused man met a friend on the street near Rowlagh Green and spoke to him about what had happened. Together they went to an off-licence and bought a "substantial amount of alcohol" which they drank at a nearby green area.
The accused man remained in that area for nearly 24 hours until he was found by a garda search party the following evening at about 8pm "hiding in some undergrowth".
Mr Delaney said the accused knew his father had died because he was in phone contact with family members.
During four interviews at a garda station he admitted assaulting his father although Mr Delaney said some of the details of his account may differ from the account given by counsel.
Mr Delaney further explained to the jury that Mr Tims has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and therefore accepts he is responsible for the unlawful killing of his father.
He said that the issue the jury will most likely have to look into is Mark Tims's state of mind at the time of the assault and, in particular, whether he intended to kill or cause serious injury to his father.
The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Tony Hunt and the jury of seven women and five men.