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Thugs attacked couple in home in hunt for man's ex

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Ben Merriman pleaded guilty

Ben Merriman pleaded guilty

Ben Merriman pleaded guilty

A man helped another to kick down a door and attack a couple in their home while searching for their daughter, a court has heard.

Ben Merriman (20), of Kenmore Heights, Greystones, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault, trespass and criminal damage at a house in Flemington Lane, Balbriggan, Dublin, last March 27.

Garda John Delaney told the prosecuting counsel that on the day in question, Merriman and his co-accused approached the house shouting: "Where's Chloe? We're going to kill her."

His co-accused - who was Chloe's former partner - hit the front door with a metal bar and smashed a living room window before they both succeeded in kicking the door down.

They then confronted Chloe's parents and demanded to know where she was. The mother told them that she was upstairs, but after they failed to find her there, Merriman spat in the mother's face.

The other man threatened to "slice her from ear to ear".

The other man then struck the father in the head with the metal bar and continued to strike him while he was on the ground, while Merriman kicked him.

The other man said that if they did not find Chloe, they would come back.

Gda Delaney accepted that the other man was the main aggressor and had inflicted most of the injuries.

He accepted Merriman was following his co-accused out of "blind loyalty" and that he had good reason to be fearful of him.

Ashamed

Merriman had no previous convictions and has not come to garda attention since the incident.

The court heard the incident stemmed from the other man wanting to see his former partner and believing she would be at the house.

Defence counsel said that Merriman apologised and was deeply ashamed of his actions. He has cut off all contact with the other man.

Judge Melanie Greally adjourned the case to November 5 and ordered Merriman to keep the peace and follow the directions of the probation service.


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