Sunday 17 December 2017

Cleared developer says €175k payout to thief is ‘disgraceful’

THE businessman cleared of assaulting a burglar he struck twice with his Mercedes car has branded as "disgraceful" an insurance payout to the thief.

Property developer Martin McCaughey (48) was found not guilty by a jury of assaulting Daniel McCormack.

The two-day trial heard McCormack was given a suspended three-year jail term for the burglary at the McCaughey family home and later successfully sued Mr McCaughey for €175,000.

Mr McCaughey said today he was “absolutely disgusted” at the suspended term handed down to McCormack.

“I absolutely believed he was going to get a (custodial) sentence,” he added.

Mr McCaughey ended up in court after he was accused of using his car “as a weapon” to run down the burglar.

“My intention was never to do any damage to him. Every time I got to where he was he kept running away from me,” he said today.

“He wouldn’t have had two broken legs unless he was in my house,” he told The John Murray Show on Radio 1.

Asked about the civil case, Mr McCaughey said McCormack received the payout through an insurance company.

“It wasn't off me personally ... I thought it was absolutely disgraceful that an insurance company would pay out that sort of money when something like this happened,” he added.

The father-of-three said his youngest daughter, aged 14, would not stay at home for three months after the break-in.

“We had to do lots of things to get her to come back and assure her everything was ok and now she's grand,” he said.

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