Trial

  • The jury in the trial of a Mayo man accused of killing his baby son is expected to begin considering its verdict today.

    40 year old John Tighe of Lavallyroe in Ballyhaunis denies murdering six month old Joshua by placing two tissues in his mouth in June 2013.

    The jurors have three verdicts open to them: guilty of murder, guilty of manslaughter or not guilty.

    It's the prosecution's case that John Tighe placed a wad of two tissues in his son's mouth and says a baby couldn't form, chew or swallow a wad of that size.

    But John Tighe says what happened was an accident and the baby must have put the tissues in his mouth himself while he left him unattended for a few minutes to go to the bathroom.

    The Judge is due to finish charging the jury this morning and it will then begin considering its verdict.

  • COURT

    A serving member of an Garda Siochana, who denied sexually assaulting a woman after getting into her bed in a hotel room in the West of Ireland, dramatically changed his plea to guilty at the Circuit  Criminal Court in Castlebar this morning.

    The change of plea came just before a jury was about to hear closing submissions from the prosecution and defence.

    Just before 11.30 this morning, Judge Rory MacCabe was told by defence counsel Ken Fogarty that there had been a development and the accused could be re-arraigned.

    When the single count of sexual assault was put again to the accused, who cannot be named, he replied 'Guilty'.

    Judge MacCabe, who said  the accused had "taken responsibility for his crime" then discharged the jury panel - thanking them for their service in what he said "had not been an easy trial".

    Mr. Fogarty told Judge MacCabe that the change of plea had 'significant implications' for his client.

    The accused was remanded to June 13 for sentencing.

  • A woman told the Circuit Criminal Court, sitting in Castlebar, yesterday that she was sexually assaulted while asleep by a man who got into bed beside her.

    The alleged victim told Judge Rory MacCabe and a jury that she was awakened from a deep sleep in an apartment at a West of Ireland hotel by a man who was molesting her.

    She then said that, as the beside locker light was turned on by her husband who had come into the room, her attacker (whom she named in court) got out of bed with his trousers down.

    The accused has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of sexual assault.

    He cannot be named for legal reasons.

    The court heard that the alleged victim was one of an 8-strong group, which included her husband, who travelled to a west of Ireland town for a charity event in July 2015.

    The trial is expected to last a number of days.

  • The trial of a Mayo man accused of murdering his baby son has heard a 'bolus' of tissue was removed from the baby's throat during a post mortem.

    40 year old John Tighe of Lavallyroe in Ballyhaunis in Co Mayo denies murdering six month old Joshua in June 2013.

    It's the Prosecution's case that John Tighe murdered his six month old son Joshua by placing a 'bolus' of tissue in his throat.

    Mr Tighe denies this, and maintains what happened was an accident.

    He made an emergency call on the day in question saying he believed his baby was choking after he had swallowed a baby wipe, while his back was turned for a second.

    Garda Fergus Maloney told the court he took photos as a post mortem was carried out on baby Joshua at Mayo General Hospital.

    He said his photos show an exhibit was removed from the baby's throat.

    He said this obstruction appeared to be 5.5cm in length and 3.5 cm in height and said it seemed to compile of tissue.

    A baby gro and an outer garment Joshua was wearing on the day he died were also shown to the jury.

    A forensic officer said he analysed blood which was on the clothing and said it matched the DNA profile of the sixth month old.