COUPLE CHARGED WITH THREATENING TO ‘GUT’ FAMILY WITH AN AXE
A young Fethard on Sea couple were before Gorey District Court last week charged with breaking into their neighbour’s house and threatening to ‘gut’ the whole family, including three children aged from three to six, with an axe.
John Murphy (25) and Kim Gordon (23) both of 77 Hookless Village, Houseland, Fethard on Sea, were brought before the court in garda custody. Murphy was charged with aggravated burglary, threatening to kill or cause harm, assault and criminal damage at 82 Hookless Village on November 6.
He was also charged with criminal damage to a car belonging to a Cathriona Molloy at Fethard on Sea on November 5. Gordon was charged with threatening to kill or cause harm and aggravated burglary arising from the same incident on November 6.
In outlining the alleged facts, Garda Barry from New Ross Garda Station said that Gordon kicked in the front door of a house belonging to Lavina Power and her partner Jason Byrne. Gordon, who was in possession of an axe, proceeded to pin Ms Power against the fridge, threatening to slit her throat.
It was also alleged that Murphy followed his partner into the house and struck Mr Byrne on the arms and body with the axe several times and threatened to ‘stick it in his head’. Garda Barry alleged that Murphy sat Mr Byrne and Ms Power’s children, aged 3, 5 and 6, on the couch and ‘threatened to gut them when he came back that night’.
As a result of the seriousness of the offence and danger of interfering with witnesses or re-offending, Garda Barry said he was objecting to bail for both Murphy and Gordon. He said that this incident was ‘the culmination of weeks of threats’.
Taking Murphy’s case first, Garda Barry said that he had 97 previous convictions, 77 of which were committed while on bail. He said that Murphy was a chronic user of synthetic cannabis, known on the street as Bonsai.
Solicitor Ed King asked Garda Barry if his client had given an explanation for his presence at 82 Hookless Village that day and he replied that Murphy had entered the property after his girlfriend - Kim Gordon. Mr King pointed out that Murphy had only one conviction for failure to appear and that there were no DPP directions so it was too early to determine what kind of penalty the case could carry. Judge Haughton opted to refuse bail and remand the defendant in custody to appear in Wexford on November 14.
Similarly, Garda Barry objected to bail in Gordon’s case as a result of the seriousness, the likelihood that she would interfere with witnesses and the fact that she lives very close to the victims. Garda Barry said that Gordon had admitted kicking in the door and screaming and shouting at Ms Power and said that while in custody she referred to the family as ‘rat scumbags’.
Mr King asked if it was fair to say that there was a history of animosity between Gordon and Levina Power, to which he replied yes. He also said that Gordon could take up residence with her parents in Wexford town, away from the victims and she was called to give evidence to this effect.
‘I told them what happened,’ Gordon said from the stand. ‘Levina Power told me to sleep with one eye open and I saw red and sprinted across to her.’ When Mr King asked her if she had threatened to ‘gut’ Ms Power’s children, she said she had not and that she ‘didn’t touch her’. Gordon said that she would be willing to obey any bail conditions and could live with her parents in Coolcotts, Wexford.
When questioned by Inspector Mark Foley, Gordon said that her parents could not be in court that day as they were working. ‘So, we won’t know if you are in your parents house or not because there will be nobody in the house when they’re working.’ he asserted.
When asked of the animosity between herself and Ms Power, Gordon replied: She’d been threatening me for weeks with two men I’ve history with.’ However, when the Inspector asked if she had threatened and put Ms Power in fear, she said she had.
‘I’m satisfied that there’s a risk the witnesses in the case would be interfered with,’ said Judge Haughton, before remanding the defendant in custody to appear in Wexford on November 14, the same day as her partner and co-accused.