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Courts

Man bit off part of brother’s finger at wedding party, causing 'serious harm', trial told

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

A MAN WHO claimed his brother bit off part of his finger at a party celebrating his wedding, denied under cross examination by the accused’s barrister that he attacked the accused first.

Chukwuma Georgewill-Manjor, a medical devices salesman, with an address at Curragh Birin, Castletroy, Limerick, told Limerick Circuit Criminal Court Tuesday, that his brother Uche Georgewill-Manjor head-butted him and bit off the top of his right index finger.

Uche Georgewill-Manjor, (42), of Garranmmore, Pallasgreen, Co Limerick, denies one count of intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to his younger brother Chukwuma. He also denies one count of assault causing harm.

The two offences are alleged to have occurred outside Chukwuma Georgewill’s house, Castletroy, on 30 June, 2019.

Two days earlier, on 28 June, Chukwuma married Jessica O’Connell, a native of Bridgetown, Co Clare, at the Armada Hotel, Spanish Point.

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, due to a rift between the brothers’ family.

Uche and Sinead were also not invited to an African-themed party that was held for Chukwuma and Jessica at Thommond Park, the day after their wedding, nor were they invited to the newlyweds home for a post-wedding party on 30 June, the night of the alleged offences.

Chukwuma told day one of Uche’s trial that he embraced Uche after he appeared outside Thomond Park during the African themed ceremony, and that he had told Uche that if he wanted to heal their family’s rift he needed to talk to one of their other siblings.

Chukwuma said Uche arrived outside his house the following day as he and his wife Jessica hosted a small post wedding gathering and he and Uche got involved in a verbal argument.

Chukwuma said: “He (Uche) head-butted me, and I head-butted him back”.

The witness said the accused then bit off the tip of his right index finger as they both fought with one another on the street outside his home.

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

“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.”

Chukwuma said that it was only after he broke free that he realised his finger had been severed.

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

Chukwuma said his wife Jessica “ushered” him back into their home, but he was “filled with rage” and he went back out and struck the accused.

“I came back out in a temper and I hit him (Uche) again and I was pulled away from him (Uche)”.

Under cross examination by the Uche’s barrister, senior counsel, Brian McInerney, Chukwuma acknowledged he had subsequently been convicted in March 2023 of assaulting a man causing him harm in a pub in Limerick City in July 2019.

However, Chukwuma denied a suggestion by the barrister that he was “a violent man”.

Mr McInerney put it to Chukwuma he had been the “aggressor” and had initially attacked Uche who was “trying to defend himself”.

Chukwuma replied: “That is incorrect.”

Jessica O’Connell gave evidence that, on the night, she asked a friend of her and her husband to bring Uche to their house to try to bring an end to the siblings rift.

She said she had tried to find a resolution for the sake off the children of all parties.

Ms O’Connell claimed in her evidence that Uche was the aggressor and had attacked her husband outside on the night.

“Uche lunged forward and head-butted Chukwuma into his face, and Chukwuma head-butted him back,” Ms O’Connell claimed.

She said she left the men fighting and ran into her house looking for others to help, and that her husband came into the house and said to her ‘he (Uche) bit my f*****g finger off’”.

Ms O’Connell said she called for an ambulance for her husband but she claimed that when it arrived the paramedics told her they could not assist her husband as he had been assaulted and it was a crime scene and they drove away.

She said that after they found the tip of the finger in the front garden, a friend drove herself and her husband to University Hospital Limerick Emergency Department where his finger was treated but the served part could not be reattached.

Photographs of the finger and the served top were shown to the jury.

The trial continues tomorrow.

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