Man who denies murdering he father says he was his mate

Accused told gardaí he felt orphaned from his entire family

 

A man who admits killing but denies murdering his father during an argument about drinking at home told gardaí that he loved and was proud of his dad, whom he described as looking like American singer Kenny Rogers.

“He wasn’t just my father, he was a mate,” the accused man told interviewing detectives.

In garda interviews the accused man Mark Tims said that when he struck his father with a cup and kicked him while he lay on the ground he was “enraged”.

He said he “lashed out” at his father who was “always dragging me down. No matter if he was in the wrong, he was always right. He was always right.”

He said he had self-harmed before because his father had “got to” him and described how his father had once struck him with a piece of weight-lifting equipment. Mr Tims (48) has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to the murder of his father Anthony “Tony” Tims at the home they shared at Rowlagh Green, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 on July 13th, 2018.

The trial at the Central Criminal Court has previously heard that a row erupted when Anthony Tims returned home from the pub on his 74th birthday and the accused told him he had “cremated” his breakfast that morning and he didn’t want him to cook his breakfast again. A witness has told that trial that Anthony Tims then told his son he was a “disappointment” and he wished he’d never been born before the accused man, who was “in a rage”, put his father in a headlock, punched him twice in the head and kicked him when he fell to the ground.

Det Garda Aine O’Sullivan on Friday told prosecuting counsel Michael Delaney SC that she interviewed Mr Tims at Lucan Garda station on July 15th, 2018.

She agreed that Mr Tims told her that on the evening his father died his dad was “narky” and annoyed that Mark was drinking in the family home. He said his mind “closed down and then it went blank” as his father kept at him.

He said: “If my father had a bad day, I had a bad day. When he gets narky he just gives out, gives out, gives out. He rips into me.”

He remembered striking his dad with a cup. His dad fell to the ground and, he said, he stomped on him once and kicked him twice in the back. He said: “The stomp was hard enough. Really quick. I was reacting without thinking. If I was thinking it wouldn’t have happened in the first place.”

Describing the same incident in a later interview he said: “I stomped down on him, I turned away, then came back and kicked him two times and went to the fridge. Went to the door, two to three feet and kicked him again.” He said he kicked his father a total of three times. Talking about his relationship with his father Mr Tims described how on one occasion his father got to him so much that he harmed himself. He showed gardaí a mark on his wrist. He also described his dad using a piece of weightlifting equipment to hit him when he was young. He said that when his father started on him he would usually just walk away to give him time to calm down.

His dad would tell him he didn’t want him in the house and threaten to call the guards. He said he would try to hurt him and sometimes got to him.

On one previous occasion the accused said he hit his dad a “clatter” and felt terrible afterwards.

Most of the time he could control himself but on this occasion he said: “My head was boiling. I lashed out.” He added: “He always dragged me down. No matter if he was in the wrong, he was right. He was always right.”

His father could be “brutal, very harsh” and, “If you weren’t up to his standard he would call you an asshole.” He added: “After all the arguments I still loved him.”

The accused said he will have to carry this for the rest of his life and he feels orphaned from his entire family. He added: “This is eating me up. I’m finding it very hard.” He told gardaí he had “lashed out” and remembered that he couldn’t concentrate or focus. “I was just enraged,” he said. After kicking his father he saw blood and thought, “what the f**k are you doing”. He grabbed his insulin, which he takes for diabetes, and his bike and went out the door. When gardaí asked why he then went to a park where he spent the next 24 hours instead of handing himself in he said he, “needed to get a drink to get my head around this.”

He added: “Me and my father had many arguments over the years but I loved my father.” He said his father looked like American singer Kenny Rogers and added: “I felt proud to have him as my dad.” At the end of the interview he told gardaí he wanted to add: “I’m sorry for this. He wasn’t just my father, he was a mate.”

Gda O’Sullivan agreed with defence counsel Vincent Heneghan SC that Mr Tims was co-operative and courteous throughout the interviews and answered every question put to him.