30 Sept 2022

JAILED: Man who told police officer he hoped his family would die 'slow and horrible deaths from cancer'

A man who told a police officer that he hoped his family would die "slow and horrible deaths from cancer" has been told when he gets released from prison he should go visit hospices where people are suffering from the disease. Alan Robert Monaghan (42), of Bond's Hill in Derry, appeared at the local Magistrate's Court charged with possessing an offensive weapon, namely an Iron bar on 20 January last. He was also charged with three assaults on police and a charge of criminal damage on the same date. The court heard that police were attending an incident in the Spencer Road area when they saw the defendant with an iron bar in his hand. The court was told police drew their CS sprays and told Monaghan to drop the bar which he eventually did and while he was being taken to Strabane custody suite he became "extremely abusive" towards police. The court heard he called one one officer and "English c---' and said to him "I hope you die of cancer." Monaghan then told the officer: "I hope your entire family have a slow and painful death from cancer." He then spat in the officer's face on two occasions and also tried to damage the police vehicle. Defence counsel Stephen Mooney told the court it was a case in which he was "scrambling for something to say in mitigation." He added there was very little going on in Monaghan's mind at the time as it was "fogged by alcohol." Mr Mooney told the court it was "a nasty situation" and added that Monaghan was in breach of suspended sentences as well as having a bad record. Pointing out the accused had "an appalling criminal record," Deputy District Judge Austin Kennedy told him that to say some of the things he did to another human being was "staggering and appalling." The judge told Monaghan that to bring the family of a police officer doing his job into it was appalling and told him that when he gets released he should visit hospices and hospitals where people are terminally ill 'and you might come to your senses. He sentenced Monaghan to a total of 10 months in prison.

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