A screen grab from YouTube shows Patrick Maughan swinging a slash hook
AN Edenderry-based Traveller who recorded a video of himself holding a slash hook while threatening a rival has been ordered by a judge not to abuse social media.
However, 38-year-old Patrick Maughan escaped jail when Judge Catherine Staines imposed a 10-month suspended sentence on him after viewing the shocking video he posted on YouTube.
Mr Maughan, of St Mary's Road, Edenderry, Co Offaly, gave an undertaking not to post a video like it again.
In the video, posted by Mr Maughan on June 23 last year and viewed by Judge Staines at Tullamore District Court, Mr Maughan threatened to cut the head off Michael McDonald.
Standing outside his home Mr Maughan was recorded saying: “That's where you're getting it, across the back of the neck Michael, do you understand that?”
He also threatened Michael McDonald's father, Michael (Senior) and Michael's brother, Patrick.
He repeatedly called Michael McDonald by a nickname, Scooby Doo, said he was a “tramp”, and accused Michael Senior of not being able to “put manners” on his son Michael.
“I don't know if you know about it, but he's carrying on ridiculous on the Facebook,” said Mr Maughan.
“This goes for anybody who thinks they're going to slag me in Edenderry, okay? Scooby Doo, come down to Edenderry, see will you get away with it son.
“Michael, talk to your son before I come across him, before I drive into Ballyowen Lane and I'll find him in it. And I promise you Michael, I'll wheel him out of it and leave him dead with it. And that goes for anyone, who thinks they can come and slag me.”
He held the slash hook up to the camera and declared: “That's what I have there, for any fool that wants trouble off me.”
He challenged 'Scooby Doo' to come down and fight him and then, having stripped to the waist, addressed Michael Senior again: “Michael, your son is carrying on on the Facebook, I am going to cut his head clean off his body, do you understand that?”
His video message concluded: “I'm here now in Edenderry and I'm not leaving Edenderry and I wouldn't go for no one, I want no trouble off no one. But I tell you what it is, I don't give two f...s who wants trouble off me... now f... off, the whole lot, anyone that wants trouble, come here, they'll get it. That's it now.”
Judge Staines also viewed the McDonalds on YouTube in which a threat was issued to kill Patrick Maughan and references were made to money which was allegedly owed by another member of the Maughan family.
In one YouTube post, Patrick McDonald said to Patrick Maughan: “I'm going to badly, badly hurt you, I'm going to give you brain damage, I'm going to kill you.”
A plea of guilty to threatening to kill or cause serious harm to Michael McDonald was entered by Patrick Maughan.
Sergeant James O'Sullivan, prosecuting, said the charge was brought after an investigation by Detective Sergeant David Scahill into a call-out video by Mr Maughan, a member of the Travelling community, threatened another member of the Travelling community.
Sergeant O'Sullivan said the accused had 22 previous convictions and in September 2019 had been given a three-month sentence, suspended for 12 months, for public order offences and possession of a baseball bat.
Defending solicitor Donal Farrelly said the YouTube video had been posted at a time when Mr Maughan, a father of six children aged between one year and 18, was disaffected from his partner and living rough for a period.
He then got back on good terms with his wife but he had been off medication and that was a factor in his behaviour.
The background was that the other Travellers wished to get back money they said they were owed but his client did not have it.
His client's family were threatened and he put up the video in an effort to put them off because he feared for his own life.
“He put the video on to show them some aggression and to get them to back off. He'd himself suffered from serious mental health difficulties,” said the solicitor.
The previous conviction for having a baseball bat resulted from an incident where “the same people” called to his house in the early hours and he had to protect his wife and children.
Mr Maughan told the court himself he would not behave like that again if he was given a chance.
The defendant said he was not in his right mind at the time and he was in fear for his family.
Judge Staines said the offence merited a two-year sentence but she took all the circumstances into account and imposed a 10-month sentence, suspended for two years, on condition he not abuse social media and abstain from alcohol.
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