Clare man accused of assaulting his frail mother, 79, who was suffering from lung disease

By Gordon Deegan

A Co Clare man hospitalised his frail 79-year-old mother, already suffering from the lung disease, Emphysema after assaulting her at her home.

That was the allegation made by the State today at Ennis District Court against Fergus Geoghegan, (aged 39), where Judge Patrick Durcan deemed the case too serious to be heard in the district court after hearing an outline of the State allegations.

As a result, Mr Geoghegan of Tobin’s B&B, Ballinooskey, Newmarket-on-Fergus faces sterner penalties if convicted of assault causing harm to Katherine Geoghegan at Rossbracken, Shannon on July 27 last.

In the district court, those convicted of assault causing harm face a maximum sentence of 12 months and in the circuit court a maximum sentence of five years on conviction applies.

Judge Durcan said that he was declining that the case be heard in the district court because of the "seriously aggravating factor" in the case "where the alleged assault was perpetrated on someone with a tender frame".

He said: “The victim of this alleged assault was nearly 80 years of age and had emphysema.”

In evidence, Det. Garda Paul Coleman said that the medical report shows that the woman had a displaced fracture to her ribs, but that the report says it is impossible to determine how old the injury was given the woman’s age and frailty.

Det. Coleman said that the doctor who carried out the report informed him that, given the woman’s health, that the fracture could have resulted from a cough or a degree of physical force exerted on her.

He said: “While it reads badly, it is difficult to determine how it occurred."

Det. Coleman said that it was his view that that the assault was marginally over the more minor Section 2 assault category.

Judge Durcan said that he would decline jurisdiction and remanded Mr Geoghegan on bail to February 21, 2018, for the serving of a Book of Evidence.

- Digital desk


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