Carrigallen youth convicted of manslaughter

A Carrigallen youth was found guilty of the manslaughter of a pensioner whom he claimed sexually abused him, following a five-day trail at the Central Criminal Court that concluded last Friday.

A Carrigallen youth was found guilty of the manslaughter of a pensioner whom he claimed sexually abused him, following a five-day trail at the Central Criminal Court that concluded last Friday.

Brendan McGovern (19), Carrigallen, Co Leitrim was found not guilty of the murder of John Golden (73), Nedd, Doogarry, Killeshandra, Co Cavan, but guilty of manslaughter and was remanded on bail until next October when it is expected that he will then be sentenced.

The incident occurred at Mr Golden’s home in September 2010. He was found lying unconscious under a bed by a neighbour, a number of days after the assault and was subsequently transferred to hospital, where he died one month later.

During the trial, Mr McGovern admitted to beating and kicking the pensioner after he entered the man’s home to confront him about the abuse. He said the pensioner presumed that he had arrived at the house “for sex”, handed him a condom and took off his trousers. The Court heard that McGovern became “angry” and proceeded to “punch” the Golden before kicking and beating him to the ground.

The Court heard last Friday, that McGovern had difficulties thinking through the consequences of his actions because of “Borderline Intellectual Functioning”. The Court was also told that the injured party sustained “severe injuries to his lower body”.

McGovern claimed that the pensioner had sexually abused him as a boy and that when he went to his house that night to confront him he “lost control”. “I kicked and beat him,” the defendant told the Court after which gardaí indicated that they had found Mr Golden’s blood on the teenager’s shoe.

A clinical psychologist who provided direct evidence in the case said that McGovern was “a very anxious young man” who had difficulties with verbal communication, problem solving, attention and concentration. “He has Borderline Intellectual Functioning, the sufferers of which have difficulty thinking through their actions,” she added.

Two other young men - who provided statements to the Court - described John Golden as “a bit queer” and said that, as children, he had invited them to his home on the pretence that they were going there to “look at cars”. However, when they arrived inside the house, they claimed that Mr Golden instead showed them “pornography”. “Mr Golden put his hand on my leg and asked me what did I think about that,” one statement read.

The trial was told that Mr Golden had been the subject of a garda investigation in the 1990s when he admitted showing pornographic videos to young teenage boys.

McGovern was released on continuing bail and will return to the Court in October to be sentenced.