Dublin man found guilty of his father’s manslaughter
Jury returns not guilty verdict on murder charge in trial of Mark Tims over death of Anthony Tims
The jury of seven women and five men at the Central Criminal Court came to their unanimous decision after six hours and 17 minutes of deliberations.
A man who kicked his father to death after an argument in their home has been found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.
After six hours and 17 minutes of deliberations a jury of seven women and five men at the Central Criminal Court came to its unanimous decision.
Mark Tims (48) had pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to the murder of Anthony ‘Tony’ Tims (74) in the home they shared at Rowlagh Green, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 on July 13th, 2018.
The defendant was taken to the Midlands Prison after Friday’s verdict, where he will be held until a sentencing hearing on February 24th.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt described it as a “tragic” case for the deceased, his family and also for Mark Tims who, he said, did not set out on that day to kill his father.
The trial heard that a row erupted when Anthony Tims returned home from the pub on his 74th birthday and he and the accused had a fight about how the younger man’s breakfast had been cooked that morning.
Elizabeth McDonagh told prosecutor Michael Delaney SC that she went out with Mark Tims for about 10 years and was also a carer for Anthony Tims, who had health problems including a difficulty breathing. She said he could walk only short distances and required a wheelchair for longer journeys.
She said Mark Tims lived with his father and both men were “fond of the drink” and that the two often argued.
On the morning before Mr Tims died, Ms McDonagh said she went to Rowlagh Green to cook breakfast for the two men but Anthony Tims had already done so. She said Mark Tims complained that the food was burnt and he said he would not eat it. “He had a bad attitude,” she said.
Ms McDonagh said she went shopping with Anthony Tims that afternoon and he went to Finches’ Pub in Clondalkin after. Mark Tims spent the day at home drinking cans of Guinness and playing Playstation games in his room.
Anthony Tims returned home at about 8pm and told Ms McDonagh he had had a “great day in the bookies” and that people in the pub had bought him drinks for his birthday.
She said Mark Tims made a joke about his breakfast being “cremated” and, “out of the blue”, his father told him to get out of the house and threatened to call the guards.
She also told defence counsel Vincent Heneghan SC that the older man called his son a disappointment and a ‘b***ocks and a dirty waster’ and told him ‘I wish you were never born’.
“Mark just jumped out of the chair and headlocked him and gave him two digs to the face and he fell to the ground,” she said.
She described Mark Tims kicking his father in the chest and head.
“I was begging him to stop but he wouldn’t stop,” she said.
Ms McDonagh’s version of events differed to that given by the accused in his garda interviews. Mr Heneghan said a “big dispute” was over Ms McDonagh’s claim that she went next door for help and when she returned she saw Mark Tims come downstairs having retrieved his jacket and return to the kitchen to kick his father again.
Not borne out
Mr Heneghan said Ms McDonagh’s version was not borne out by the evidence, in particular that of the two neighbours who followed her into the house and said the accused had already left.
In his garda interviews, Mark Tims said his father was “at me and at me” and he could feel his head “boiling” and that when his father “gives you verbal he keeps going and going, right through your head”.
He said he “lost it” and swung a cup he was holding at his dad’s head. When his father fell to the floor, Mark Tims said he kicked him three times using “full force” before thinking: “What the f**k am I doing”.
He said he left the house on his bike, met an old friend, bought cider, beer and vodka in an off-licence and spent almost 24 hours drinking in a green area in Lucan.
Mr Delaney said the deceased had “earned the right to some peace and quiet in his own house in his retirement” but did not get it.
“Having a 47-year-old man living with his 74-year-old father is probably not a recipe for harmony,” he said.