Northern Ireland

Brothers deny murdering their uncle

Two brothers have appeared at Belfast Crown Court accused of murdering their uncle.

Gerard Gaskin, 31, and his 22-year-old brother, Daniel Gaskin, deny murdering their uncle on 21 November 2010.

Seamus Holland was attacked in his home amidst allegations that he abused the brothers' mother as a child.

Mr Holland was beaten with an iron bar and taken to hospital but died of a heart attack later that day.

The prosecution barrister told the jury that there was no dispute the pair attacked their uncle as they had admitted doing so during police interviews.

Injuries

Their issue, the lawyer said, was more likely to be to assess the cause of Mr Holland's death, adding that apart from the beating he received, he suffered from heart problems.

The court heard that Mr Holland had been drinking with two other relatives and a friend in his west Belfast home at Upton Court when the Gaskin brothers arrived.

The prosecution barrister told the court all six were in the living room for a time before Gerard Gaskin called his uncle and then his brother into the kitchen.

He said the pair attacked him before fleeing the property, leaving Mr Holland lying on the bloodstained floor.

As they ran from the scene, they dumped the metal bar in a nearby stream but it was recovered by police and when sent for forensic examination, scientists found Mr Holland's blood on it.

Mr Holland was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital for treatment to his injuries but he suffered a heart attack and died a few hours later.

The trial continues.