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Daniel McCormack (27), who claims he was assaulted Photo by: Irish Independent

Bizarre as Irish burglar receives $225,000 compensation from his victim in compensation claim

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Daniel McCormack (27), who claims he was assaulted Photo by: Irish Independent

An Irish businessman has been acquitted by a jury of all charges after running a burglar over with his Mercedes – the same thief who picked up $225,000 in compensation for the incident.

Martin McCaughey was cleared at Dundalk courthouse after he twice hit thief Daniel McCormack with his car and broke both his legs.

McCaughey woke up to find the burglar in his bedroom and chased him from the house. His wife and three children were with him in their home.

McCaughey had previously been sued by the burglar McCormack for the injuries he sustained in the incident outside the property developer’s house in the County Louth town and the burglar won a $225,000 judgement.

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The 48-year-old McCaughey was charged by police with assault causing harm and using his car as a weapon. He denied all charges.

Speaking to the media after the case, he said: “I have finally got justice.”

McCaughey told how he awoke at about 5.30am that morning to find the intruder coming out of his ensuite bathroom “looking at us with a screwdriver in his hand.”

“Imagine if I hadn’t been in the house and it was just my wife and three children. What would have happened? That still goes through my mind today. Would he have run?” Mr McCaughey said.

McCormack (27) was given a suspended jail sentence for the burglary and then sued McCaughey for over $225,000 compensation after he was left with broken legs following the incident.

The initial court case had heard McCormack confess: “I was trespassing and looking for things to steal.” Claiming he could remember little of the incident, he admitted that he took jewellery from the house and fled the scene when he heard shouting.

Police called to the scene found McCaughey’s car in the middle of the road. He was barefoot and just wearing boxer shorts. McCormack was on the ground with serious leg injuries.

The Dundalk jury took two and a half hours to clear McCaughey after Judge Gerard Griffin directed them to return a not guilty verdict on a second charge of endangerment.

Surrounded by friends and family outside the courthouse,  McCaughey said: “It has been a long two years for me and my family. I’m glad it’s all over and want to get it behind us.

“I should never have been here in the first place. Unfortunately that is the system and they dragged me through the courts and I’ve got justice at the finish of it. I wouldn’t want to go through this ordeal again.”

Defending lawyer Brendan Grehan told the jury that his client ‘was not a vigilante’ and was not somebody out at night in his car patrolling for bad people, according to the Irish Independent.

Prosecuting counsel Kevin Segrave told the jury that McCaughey had used his car ‘as a weapon’, adding: ‘The law prevents us from being savages’.

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