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Son jailed for 7 years for kicking father to death in kitchen row

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Victim Anthony ‘Tony’ Tims

Victim Anthony ‘Tony’ Tims

Victim Anthony ‘Tony’ Tims

A 48-year-old man who kicked and stamped his elderly ill father to death in the kitchen of the home they shared has been jailed for seven years.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt said Anthony 'Tony' Tims was attacked by his son, Mark, in a "place where he ought to have been safe".

While a jury had found that the accused was provoked to the point where he had lost control after his "irritable" father told him he wished he'd never been born, Mr Justice Hunt said the elder Mr Tims was drunk and "ought to have been ignored rather than attacked".

Tims had pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to his father's murder at Rowlagh Green, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, on July 13, 2018.

His plea was rejected by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) but a jury acquitted him of murder and found him guilty of manslaughter after a two-week trial in January.

Mr Justice Hunt said that Anthony Tims had celebrated his 74th birthday by going to the bookies and drinking in a pub. His son was at home drinking. While both men were drinkers, he said his son's habit of drinking at home was a "bone of contention" between them.

When the older man returned home there was a "verbal exchange" between them in the kitchen and "out of the blue" Anthony Tims began to abuse his son, telling him he was a "disappointment" and he wished he'd never been born.

Tims then used a mug to strike his father using "significant force" and causing a "full thickness laceration on the forehead". When the deceased fell to the ground Tims "stamped and kicked him a number of times to the trunk and head", the judge said.

Verbal

The injuries he suffered, combined with a pre-existing heart condition, caused his death.

Mr Justice Hunt noted that although the jury had agreed that Tims was provoked by his father's words, the abuse he suffered was verbal and not physical.

At a previous hearing the judge had queried if provocation should be allowed as a defence in murder cases where the deceased only used words against the accused.

Mr Justice Hunt said after the attack Tims gathered his belongings and bicycle and left.

"He did not offer any assistance to his father when he recovered his composure," he said.

He also noted that his father was now deprived of the enjoyment he would have taken from going to the bookies and having drinks with friends.

The accused's daughter had lost a grandfather who doted on her and would grow up knowing what her father had done. She had learnt a lesson in " human cruelty" that a child her age should not learn, the judge said.

Mr Hunt set the headline sentence at 10 years but after taking mitigating factors into account, including his early guilty plea and co-operation with gardai, he reduced that to seven years and six months.

He suspended the final six months for two years on condition that he be of good behaviour. The sentence was also backdated to July 2018 when Tims first went into custody.