Trader on trial over knife 'attack' at Kilmallock mart

 Jury told victim sustained cuts to back and side of head

David Hurley


David Hurley

Trader on trial over knife 'attack' at Kilmallock mart

Denis Hannifin denies assaulting Timothy Nevin at Kilmallock Mart on October 28, 2013 PICTURE: Press 22

A JURY has heard details of several ‘999’ phone calls which were made during a violent incident involving traders at KiIlmallock Mart more than two years ago.

Denis Hannifin, aged 35, of Curry Athlone Road, Longford has pleaded not guilty to assaulting 41-year-old Timothy Nevin on the morning of October 28, 2013.

It is the alleged the father-of-seven slashed Mr Nevin with a carpet knife – inflicting cuts to the back and side of his head.

In his evidence, Mr Nevin – who has an address at Bettys-town, County Meath – said  he travelled to Kilmallock with his teenage son the night before the market, which is held every Bank Holiday Monday.

He said having slept in his Mercedes van overnight, he entered the mart shortly after 7am to set up his stall.

He told the jury of seven men and five women he travels around the country to markets selling goods including “tools, drills and socket sets and other bits”.

He told Michael Collins BL, prosecuting, that after setting up his stall he went for a walk and was struck by the defendant as he was returning to the stall.

He declined to make a formal statement of complaint to gardai on the day of the incident and attended the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar the following day.

The jury was told he sustained a 9cm “linear cut” to the back of his head and a 6cm cut to the side of his face near his right ear.

Garda Robert Young said four 999 calls were received between 8.18am and 8.28am on the date of the alleged offence.

One caller told gardai there were 10 or 12 people involved in the disturbance and that they were “killing each other” with “slashooks and everything”. 

Another woman said she was fearful for the safety of her daughter who was attending the market and could not leave.

Garda Young said the alleged culprit, was not present when he and a colleague arrived and that no weapon was found. No other traders were willing to give their names or make witness statements, he added.

When he subsequently met Mr Hannifin at Mullingar garda station he made no comment during interview. However, the defendant travelled to Bruff garda station, last May, where he presented gardai with a prepared statement.

Giving evidence this Wednesday, he told the jury there was “some history” between the  extended Nevin and Hannifin families but insisted he does not hold a grudge against anybody.

He denied assaulting Mr Nevin and claimed he hid behind a truck and fled from the mart after he (Mr Nevin) threatened to kill him.

The jury is expected to begin its deliberations this Thursday.