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Jury in councillor's assault trial sent home for the night

Cllr John O'Donnell denies assault causing harm

Staff Reporter

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Staff Reporter

Donegal Councillor swears at meeting, brands staff as 'arrogant'

Cllr John O'Donnell

The jury in the trial of a Donegal county councillor accused of assault causing harm by kicking a man in the face has been sent home and will continue their deliberations tomorrow morning.

The jury of six women and five men had been deliberating for almost three and a half hours at Letterkenny Circuit Criminal Court following a four-day hearing.

Judge John Aylmer sent them home late this afternoon to return to deliberate at 11am.

John O'Donnell (37), an independent councillor, is charged with assault causing harm to Seamus O'Donnell, aged 29, at Gortlee, Letterkenny on February 23, 2015. Seamus O’Donnell said he spent eight days in hospital following the assault.

Mr O'Donnell, from Kilmacrennan, has pleaded not guilty.

Earlier Judge John Aylmer directed the jury to find John O'Donnell not guilty on a charge of assault causing harm to Emmett Gallagher, now aged 22, at the Sultan Takeaway on the same date.

The court heard Mr O'Donnell accepts that Seamus O'Donnell was injured but denied kicking him and claimed that he had acted in self-defence after aggression from Emmett Gallagher and Seamus O’Donnell.

READ MORE: County councillor accused of kicking man in face as he lay on the ground