19 May 2022

Maghera man threatened to kill sister with a hammer

The 53-year-old received a suspended sentence and a restraining order.

Maghera man threatened to kill sister with a hammer

A 53-year-old Maghera man has received a suspended sentence and is now subject to a restraining order after pleading guilty to a number of charges at Magherafelt Magistrates Court.

Robin Steele, of King William III Park, Maghera, appeared remotely charged with a number of offences dating back to October 17 2020.

The court heard how police received a report from Mr Steele's sister that he had phoned her to say he was coming to her house with a hammer to meet with her and her husband.

She said Mr Steele said 'she would need an ambulance when he was finished with her'.

Police attended the premises and intercepted Mr Steele outside. Searches located a hammer in his possession and he was arrested and interviewed, where he admitted to possessing a hammer.

Steele said he had been coming to the house to beat her with a hammer and used the words 'you're dead' on the phone.

On February 27 2020, police attended a property at Main Street, Castledawson, where the defendant was located in bed.

Mr Steele became volatile and picked up a screwdriver, threatening police with it, prompting police to use CS spray on him.

After being arrested, Mr Steele urinated in the mobile police cell and was further arrested for criminal damage and assaulting police.

At interview, Steele said he lifted the screwdriver to see what it was, but did not intend to do anything with it. He admitted urinating in the cell, saying he had kidney problems and couldn't wait.

On March 21 2020, police received a report tyres on a van belonging to the owner of Mr Steele's former employer in Tobermore had been slashed.

The van had been taken home by a current employee of the company, who had reported tyres had been damaged.

CCTV footage revealed Mr Steele approaching the van and making stabbing motions towards both tyres. Later footage showed him returning and performing similar actions on the other side.

During interview in Coleraine Custody Suite, Mr Steele said 'yes, it was me, okay' and did not deny causing the damage.

Defence for Mr Steele said a neuropsychologist's report indicated he was suffering cognitive deficits and disinhibition from a brain injury sustained in a serious assault in June 2019.

The court also heard how Mr Steele's alcohol abuse over a number of years may also have played a part in his behaviour, and despite protracted periods in custody, his offending had only begun in his 40s.

District Judge Dunlop sentenced Mr Steele to six months in prison, suspended for a period of two years, imposed a compensation order of £500 for the damaged tyres and a further fine of £150.

A restriction order forbidding Mr Steele from having contact with his sister or coming within 100 metres of her property for a period of two years.

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