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Son killed dad after enduring years of violence, murder trial told

A 21-year-old man told gardai that after a lifetime of being beaten by his father, he finally flipped and killed him with a spade, the Central Criminal Court heard.

James McInerney described his father as one of the most evil men you could meet, responsible for a catalogue of violence against him and his mother.

He hated his father but didn't want to kill him, saying it was self-defence.

"If I didn't put Daddy down, he'd have put me down."

Detective Garda PJ Ahearne told the court of a garda interview in the trial of James McInerney, of Lacey Avenue, Templemore, Co Tipperary.

The now-23-year-old has pleaded not guilty to murdering James 'Jimmy' McInerney Snr (56) at the family home on June 17, 2009.

"Twenty-one years is a long time getting bet up," he told detectives that night, explaining that his father was always violent.

"He's one of the most evil men you could have met," he said.

"He broke my two arms by throwing me off a fence. He broke my legs when I was seven or eight."

He said his father had also beaten his mother constantly. "He put her in hospital after beating her with a gas bottle over the head. She was pregnant at the time," he recalled.

"Mammy has scars from 1989. My mother blames my father for the handicapped children she has for the beatings he gave her over the years," he said in another interview, Det Gda Tom Kelly told the court.

The authorities were called to the family home shortly before 11pm on the night the victim died; they found him dead and his son admitting to the killing.

The young man told gardai that his father began threatening him at about 7pm as they were drinking together. He said his father called him handicapped and yellow but he walked away.

He said he was in the house some time later when he heard glass break in the yard and went outside.

"I flipped out in a rage. I was sick of it. I wasn't able for anymore," he said.

"I saw my father with the spade in his hand after breaking the window in my van."

He said that as his father swung the shovel at him, he grabbed it out of his hand.

"I was sick of walking away. I walked away enough times," he explained when asked why he didn't leave. "I wanted to stand my ground and get it over with."

He said he hit his father in the head with the spade and he fell to his knees. He hit him another couple of times in his head and gut, he said.

"I threw the spade away. I knew I'd gone too far. It was too late," he said.

"I have no respect for Daddy. I also wanted to protect my family," he added.

He said he wanted to beat his father, so that he might think twice before being violent again.

"I hated the man but did not want to kill him. I did not want to go to jail for murder," he told Det Gda Kelly.

"I wanted him dead but didn't want to do it.

"It's a relief to me, even if I am going to jail, knowing that my mother will have peace," he concluded.

The trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph