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Man accused of biting off part of brother's finger during wedding acquitted

The jury in the three-day trial reached a unanimous “not guilty” verdict after deliberating on their decision for over two hours.

A MAN ACCUSED of biting off part of his brother’s finger during a family wedding celebration was today acquitted by a jury at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court.

Uche Georgewill-Manjor, (42), of Garranmore, Pallasgreen, Co Limerick, embraced supporters who clapped and cried after the verdict was read out in the court.

Uche had denied one count of intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to his younger brother Chukwuma, and one count of assault causing him serious harm.

Shortly after 2.30pm, Judge Tom O’Donnell was told the jury in the three-day trial had reached a unanimous “not guilty” verdict after deliberating on their decision for over two hours.

After the verdict was read out Judge O’Donnell told the accused “you are free to go”.

Chukwuma Georgewill-Manjor had given evidence that his brother, Uche, had not been invited to a party that he and his wife were hosting at their home in Curragh Birin, Castletroy, on 30 June 2019, two days after their wedding.

Uche was not on speaking terms with Chukwuma but he was asked to come by the house by Chukwuma’s wife Jessica O’Connell to see if the brothers could resolve their difficulties, it was heard.

Chukwuma claimed that, after the pair had a verbal altercation outside the house, Uche head-butted him and he “head-butted Uche back”.

Chukwuma claimed, as they fought outside his house, that Uche bit of the top of his right index finger.

“I tried to pull it (the finger) back. He (Uche) wasn’t releasing it, no matter how much I tried to hit him,” Chukwuma said.

“My right finger was in his mouth, I tried to move my hand and I couldn’t, I hit him a couple of times to try to get my hand free.”

“The pain was unbearable. It (finger) was covered in blood and the tip was missing”.

Chukwuma said he went back into his house but went back outside again and in a fit of “rage” he hit the accused again and had to be “pulled away” from him.

The court heard the finger tip could not be reattached despite it being recovered at the scene and brought to hospital with Chukwuma.

Under cross examination by Uche’s barrister, senior counsel Brian McInerney, instructed by junior counsel Liam Carroll, and solicitor Sarah Ryan, Chukwuma Georgewill denied he had been the aggressor on the night and that he had head-butted Uche first.

When asked by McInerney if he was a “violent man”, Chukwuma replied, “no sir”.

The witness agreed with McInerney that he was convicted and received a two-year suspended sentence on 28 March 2023 after pleading guilty before Limerick Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting a man in a pub and causing him harm on 28 July 2019, a month after he claimed he was attacked by Uche Georgewill-Manjor.

Chukwuma told the court that a psychologist had told him that, on the occasion of assaulting the man in the pub, he may have acted out of character as a result of the “trauma” of loosing his finger tip.

Chukwuma and Uche, natives of Nigeria, had married sisters Jessica and Sinead O’Connell, however Uche and his then wife Sinead – who have since separated – were not invited to Chukwuma and Jessica’s wedding, nor where they invited to an African themed wedding celebration the following day, nor were they invited to the newlyweds home on the night in question for a post wedding gathering.

Jessica O’Connell gave evidence that, on the night in question, she asked a friend to bring Uche by her house to see is the brothers could resolve their differences.

She said she had tried to find a resolution to the issue for the sake of the children in their families.

O’Connell told the court that Uche “lunged forward and head-butted Chukwuma into his face, and Chukwuma head-butted him back”.

O’Connell claimed she called for an ambulance for her injured husband but that, when it arrived, the paramedics told her they could not assist Chukwuma because he had been assaulted and that the area was a crime scene, and they left.

Photographs of the finger and its severed tip were shown to the jury.

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