A family in Ireland have said they're willing to give the 'benefit of the doubt' to their relative whose uncle was declared dead after he arrived with him at the post office in an attempt to collect his pension.
Declan Haughney asked friend, Gareth Coakley, to help him with his uncle on 21 January, 2022, when CCTV footage caught the pair holding Peadar Doyle under his arms.
Doyle's legs dragged along the concrete as the pair made their way to Hoseys post office in Carlow, Ireland, but when one concerned onlooker confronted them, Haughney allegedly responded: "He's grand."
Once at the post office, Haughney attempted to claim his uncle's €246 (£211) pension payment, but the police soon arrived at the premises and Doyle was pronounced dead at the scene.
During Haughney's sentencing earlier this month, it emerged that no exact time of death could be ascertained for Peadar.
As a result, family members have expressed belief the uncle had actually been alive when Haughney left the house with him.
Speaking to the Carlow Nationalist, Peadar's niece argued: “As unhappy and hurt as we are, we are not in a position to condemn him for taking him out of the house dead. There is absolutely no evidence that he did that. There is no evidence to call him a liar."
Peadar’s brother-in-law, and Declan’s uncle Liam Dowling, added: “If there is no proof to the other side, you have to give them the benefit of the doubt.”
The niece explained that Haughney had lived with Peadar for much of his life, claiming they had split pension and social welfare payments after household bills.
“They were very, very close. Of anyone in the world, Declan would have done no harm to Peadar,” she said.
Though people have questioned why the family did not disown Haughney completely, the niece said: “It wouldn’t be morally correct.
"We have those morals; we are dignified people … stand by the truth. We are not the type of family to condemn someone by what someone says unfounded, just because it’s popular and looks better for us.”
She added: “The whole country had condemned him of bring Peadar out of the house dead. That’s what he afraid of pleading guilty of and he was adamant that he had not committed that crime."
Haughney was sentenced earlier this month to two years in jail with six months suspended for attempted deception, but he walked free just one week later thanks to time served and remission.Featured Image Credit: Facebook/DeclanHaughney/Google