herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Brother left to die in row over burned kettle

A MAN who left his brother to die over several days after beating him with an iron bar has received a seven-year sentence.

John Mahon (61) claimed he hit his brother a few times with the bar, known as a water key, to "shut him up", in the house they had shared since childhood.

He later told gardai he didn't get help for Terrence Mahon (58), despite understanding he was badly injured on the floor, because he thought his dying brother would be "all right".

Detective Sergeant Peter Woods revealed that a neuropathologist had concluded Mr Mahon lay comatose for several days before death as there had been evidence of healing around the head wounds.

Mahon, of Bentley House, Dun Laoghaire, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his brother at their Patrician Villas family home in Stillorgan between January 16 and 18, 2009. Judge Patrick McCartan said: "The viciousness of the attack is compounded beyond justification by the callous abandoning of (Mr Mahon) over a few days."

The judge said medical reports suggested the deceased had survived long enough for John Mahon to have sobered up and sought earlier help.



Regretted

Det Sgt Woods told Paul Carroll, prosecuting, that neighbours called emergency services late on January 18, after Mahon had told them his brother might be dead in the house.

Mahon made admissions in a voluntary statement to gardai the following day.

The court heard that he had followed his brother upstairs after a row over a burned kettle.

He caused him to bang his head off a wall by striking him with a walking stick.

He then hit him with the water key, leaving him comatose on the floor with a double-fractured skull.

Mahon maintained he beat his brother several times around the head and chest with the bar and then left him where he fell thinking he would be all right.

He told gardai he regretted his actions, saying he wouldn't have behaved that way to a dog, but couldn't explain why he didn't check on his brother or call for help sooner.

The judge heard the brothers had been alcoholics and had lived in squalor in their original family home.

A victim impact statement submitted by the family said they would never forgive John, understand his actions nor forget the "inhumane" way he abandoned his brother.

Paul McDermott, defending, that his client's "unanticipated and spontaneous eruption of violence" was out of keeping with his previous existence in the house.

Judge McCartan suspended the final three years of the seven-year sentence.

hnews@herald.ie

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