herald

Thursday 17 August 2017

Farmer whose son shot burglar dies after 'years of fear'

Richard and Graham Lowndes
Richard and Graham Lowndes

An elderly farmer spent the last years of his life in a state of fear after a burglar ransacked his home.

Richard Lowndes, whose property was raided in 2012 by thief Matthew Fahey, died on Thursday at the age of 82.

On the day of the burglary, Fahey (37) knocked on Mr Lowndes' door and told him his van had broken down and asked to use the phone to call a taxi.

Raided

Mr Lowndes made him tea while they waited for the cab. Later that day, Fahey returned and raided the house.

Mr Lowndes' son Graham (52) arrived at the scene and chased Fahey and shot him.

Mr Lowndes had previously spoken out in defence of his son's actions, saying he was "trying to do the right thing".

Fahey received a gunshot wound to the arm and was later convicted of the burglary at the property in rural Kilsallaghan.

Graham Lowndes was given the benefit of the Probation Act at Dublin Circuit Court last July when he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of having a shotgun without a certificate on the day he shot Fahey.

A charge of reckless discharge of a shotgun was dropped.

Fahey, who has more than 60 convictions, later initiated a civil case for his injuries caused by 17 shotgun pellets.

Mr Lowndes, who lived in the farmhouse for 55 years, had been living alone since his wife Dorothy died in 2003.

He passed away at the Mater Hospital in Dublin.

Local people said last night that he was "a country gentleman" who was much respected by the community.

"My father spent the last few years of his life living in a home he turned into a fortress because he was worried about another burglary," said his son.

"This was a man who used to leave a key in the door of the house before all the burglaries happened in the locality.

"When I was charged after what happened, I know he worried a lot about what would happen to me.

"It was sad he had to spend years worrying about what the outcome of my case would be.

"His legacy to his four children is that he taught us about respect, love, hard work and family values."

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