Family in court as fatal attack on Irish man recounted

Fri, Oct 26, 2012, 01:00

AN IRISH mother wept in court yesterday as two Dutchmen who attacked and left her son for dead outside a pub claimed they had been acting in self-defence.

Anne Coyle, Four Roads, Co Roscommon, and other family members were visibly distressed as details of how her son was punched and kicked as he lay unconscious on a pavement were given.

Niall Coyle (33), an electrician and member of a well-known Roscommon GAA family, was a victim of a vicious and unprovoked deadly attack, the court of appeal in The Hague heard yesterday.

His two convicted attackers, Martin van der Wees and Paul van der Bor, were sentenced to nine and eight years’ in prison respectively, convicted of his manslaughter by a court in Rotterdam in October 2010. Their lawyers argued before the appeals court that both sentences should be reduced substantially.

Although the family had been asked to attend because the court is also considering a compensation claim brought by them, Mrs Coyle said: “The only reason I am here is to see justice being done.”

Van der Wees, who has a criminal record for violence, had consumed a bottle of Bacardi and 15 glasses of beer before the attack and said he could remember little or nothing of what happened.

Van der Bor had been in the bar most of the evening when Mr Coyle entered the pub in the town of Dordrecht, outside Rotterdam, to have a quiet drink, having arrived in the Netherlands to work only three weeks earlier. He came in as the barmaid was clearing up and he was told he could not be served.

The two convicted men became involved and, as one pushed him out the door, another was waiting outside and launched a brutal attack on him.

Witness statements told how the Irish man was repeatedly punched and kicked and of hearing a loud crack after Van der Wees delivered a mighty blow to his head and kept hitting him as he lay unconscious in a pool of blood.

Van der Bor claimed he only acted as a referee between Mr Coyle and the other Dutchman. But Van der Bor admitted hitting the deceased man twice.

Judges will give their verdict on November 8th.