Johnny Golden murder trial - defendant admits to assault

A 19-year-old Leitrim man has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court, charged with murdering a 73-year-old man, whom he claimed had been ‘inappropriate with him’ in his youth.

A 19-year-old Leitrim man has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court, charged with murdering a 73-year-old man, whom he claimed had been ‘inappropriate with him’ in his youth.

Brendan McGovern of Killahurk, Carrigallen has pleaded not guilty to murdering John Golden on October 6, 2010 in Co Cavan.

A jury of six men and five women has heard that the pensioner was found unconscious a month earlier in his small cottage in the rural area of Nedd, Doogarry, Killeshandra.

Bernard Condon SC, prosecuting, told the jury that as part of their investigation, Gardaí interviewed Brendan McGovern, who lived ‘not an enormous distance away’.

“He told them he’d been at Mr Golden’s house in the early hours of the 7th,” said the barrister in his opening speech on Friday, the first day evidence was heard in the trial.

“He made allegations that Mr Golden had been inappropriate with him in his youth.”

He said that the accused, who was 17 at the time of the alleged assault, told Gardaí he had seen Mr Golden walk by a pub in which he had been drinking.

“(He said) that he went to Mr Golden’s house to give him a slap,” he said. “And that he assaulted Mr Golden, thumped his fist into his back passage and kicked him in the head and face.”

The pensioner’s nearest neighbour, Seamus Galligan, testified that he called in to Mr Golden’s home on the morning of September 7, after seeing his door open.

He found him lying on the floor of his bedroom, partly under the bed and wearing only his shirt.

“All you could see were his two legs out behind him. His head was straight in underneath the bed,” he explained.

“There was blood on the floor and blood on his back passage. He was moving his left leg and moaning.”

Mr Galligan called the emergency services, and both the Gardaí and an ambulance arrived.

Paramedic PJ Cahill said Mr Golden was unconscious and unresponsive but breathing when he arrived.

“We then noticed there was blood around his anal passage and on the floor,” he said.

His colleague, Paul Mulholland, said that when he looked under the bed he could see that Mr Golden was holding onto a bar. He said he loosened his grip and lifted him onto the bed in the narrow bedroom.

He said that they noticed ‘fresh blood’ on the bed after they moved him onto an ambulance chair.

“He was a critical patient,” he said. “He stopped breathing en route (to the hospital) at one stage and I had to manually ventilate him.”

The court then heard from a Clinical Nurse Manager, who said that Mr Golden was brought in to Cavan General Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Unit with a query of a stroke.

However, Eilish Sweeney testified that she questioned that finding when she noticed he had two black eyes, bruising, a circular burn-type wound to his groin area and a rectal injury. She said she phoned the Gardaí and voiced her concern.

The court heard that Mr Golden’s condition did not improve during his month in hospital and that he died on October 6.