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Limerick man hit neighbour 'nine times across the head' with a hammer, court hears

There was a special siting of Limerick District Court today.

A LIMERICK MAN struck his neighbour “nine times across the head” with a “hammer” after the pair had a falling out last Friday, a court heard today.

James Bugler, 39, appeared before a special siting of Limerick District Court today charged with assault causing harm to next-door neighbour, Martin Power, on 8 May.

Bugler, with an address at Hassett’s Villas, Thomondgate, Limerick, was also charged with production of “a hammer” during the course of the alleged assault and with causing criminal damage to a window at the alleged victim’s home.

Power underwent emergency surgery for serious head injuries at Cork University Hospital (CUH) on Saturday night.

The court heard the impact of his injuries were as yet unknown.

Garda Dave Barry, from Mayorstone garda station, objecting to bail, said it would be alleged that Bugler and Power had had a “disagreement” last Friday, after “difficulties” arose between the pair, following a number of “anti-social behaviour” incidents.

Barry alleged that CCTV footage shows Bugler approaching Power’s home with a hammer and smashing a window at the house.

He said the CCTV footage also shows Bugler “striking” Power “several times with the hammer across the head” before he left “having no regard” for the injured party.

Barry said Power sustained “serious head injuries” and was initially treated at University Hospital Limerick before being transferred to CUH for surgery.

“He underwent surgery yesterday evening for a depressed skull fracture, and he was in a serious condition in the neurosurgery ward at Cork University Hospital,” he said.

“It’s unknown yet if there’ll be any long-term effects of his injuries.”

Barry added that gardai “anticipated further more serious charges” would be brought against Bugler, in relation to the alleged assault.

He further stated CCTV footage allegedly shows Bugler “striking the injured party nine times across the head”.

Gardai found a “blood trail going from the injured party’s home to the applicant’s house”, he added.

Barry said gardai believed that if granted bail Bugler would “commit further serious offences”.

Under cross examination by the accused’s solicitor Michelle Cosgrave, Barry acknowledged gardai had not recovered a hammer.

Barry said Power had told gardai “that a hammer was used during the course of the assault”.

Barry told Cosgrave that CCTV footage of the alleged assault was shot “from a distance of approximately 30 yards”.

He acknowledged the footage was “not of high quality” but was of “average quality”.

“It shows the incident occurring,” continued Barry.

Cosgrave disputed claims by Barry that Bugler “left the area without seeking medical attention for the injured party” following the alleged assault.

Cosgrave reiterated to the court that “CCTV” of the alleged incident was “not clear”, and that “no weapon was recovered”.

Judge Marian O’Leary remanded Bugler in custody, with consent to €1,000 bail, of which €750 must be lodged and approved by the courts.

If he takes up bail Bugler, who the court heard is in receipt of a disability allowance having been diagnosed with social anxiety and depression, must stay out of Limerick city, save for attending court and legal counsel meetings, and to collect social welfare payments.

He must reside at an address in Shannon, Co Clare; observe a nightly curfew; sign on daily at Shannon garda station, surrender his passport; be of good behaviour; and not commit any offences.

He was remanded to appear before Limerick District Court again on 12 May for directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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