By Staff Reporter
A Dubliner has gone on trial for a serious assault on the son of a former Donegal nightclub owner who was wrongfully convicted for allowing the sale of drugs at his premises.
Kenneth Broe (43) of 15 Alderwood Green, Springfield, Tallaght, denies assault causing serious harm and assault causing harm to Kristian Shortt at a flat at Upper Main Street, Letterkenny on October 9th, 2008.
Mr Shortt, who is from Redcastle in Inishowen but now lives in England, is the son of Frank Shortt.
Frank Shortt was wrongly convicted in 1995 of allowing the sale of drugs at the Point Inn premises in Quigley's Point.
In October 2005 the High Court awarded Mr Shortt €1.93m in damages, but this was increased on appeal to the Supreme Court to more than €4.5m in 2007.
Mr Broe is accused of assaulting Mr Shortt after a night out together in Letterkenny.
The trial, which is expected to last up to a week, got underway today before Judge Brian O’Callaghan and a jury of five women and seven men.
Outlining the case, prosecuting counsel Patricia McLaughlin (BL) said Mr Shortt was stabbed in the early hours of the morning.
Gardaí received a call at around 6.55am to go to the flat of Damien O’Connor, which was above a shop on Upper Main Street.
When gardaí arrived, they met a bloody scene and Mr Shortt was covered in blood.
Mr O’Connor was very agitated and told gardaí Mr Broe had stabbed Mr Shortt.
Mr Shortt required two operations and was transported to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin. He spent two weeks in intensive care.
Mr Broe was subsequently arrested after a taxi taking him to Dublin was stopped by gardaí in Co. Monaghan.
Mr Shortt told the court that on the night in question he was out with two female friends for dinner.
They shared a bottle of wine and afterwards he rang Kenneth Broe, who was a friend. He visited Mr Broe's flat and the two went to McGinley’s Bar and then the Voodoo Nightclub.
Afterwards he and Mr Broe went to Damien O’Connor’s flat.
He said he did not recall drinking while in the flat.
Mr Shortt said he and Mr Broe got into an argument.
They ended up “toe to toe” and Mr Shortt took off his jacket and said ‘bring it on then’. Mr Broe left before a fight started.
“I considered us friends, but I did not think it would get that far,” Mr Shortt said.
He said he then saw movement behind him and felt a knife sticking in the chest.
“I got stabbed 17 times in a matter of seconds,” he said. “He was using all his power to take me out - using force and using a weapon.”
Mr Shortt said he was stabbed in the chest, neck, head and back.
“I was thinking ‘Jesus what's happening’ and I was trying to hold the guy off. He kept coming. I could barely breathe and my mouth was filling up with blood.”
He said he received blows to the head as he went down and suffered a fractured jaw and swollen eye sockets.
Mr Shortt said he “died” in two operations after the attack and was resuscitated on both occasions.
The trial continues.