Maghera man charged with possessing knife and threatening local businessman


A Maghera man has appeared in court accused of possessing a knife and making a threat to a local businessman.

Bernard O’Donnell, of Meetinghouse Avenue in the town, is charged with possessing an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence.



He is further charged with making a threat to kill.

The charges relate to an alleged incident on March 28.

The 25-year-old appeared at a special sitting of Derry Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

An investigating officer told the court she believed she could connect O’Donnell to the charges.

It is alleged police were called to the Glen Road area of Maghera because a man was shouting and banging what appeared to be a knife off a lamp post.

A further call was received from the alleged injured party’s wife who said O’Donnell was at their property with a knife.

She alleged he was trying to push his way into their home and made a ‘cutting motion with the knife across his throat’.

The 25-year-old was arrested and he was heavily intoxicated and bleeding from his right hand.

After he was cautioned for the offences he replied ‘this is a f****** joke’.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer told the court police fear O’Donnell will commit further offences.

He revealed that the defendant is a suspect in a petrol bombing of the alleged injured party’s business premises.

The officer said this was at a family run pub which the 25-year-old is currently barred from.

He added that a report has been sent to the Public Prosecution Service in relation to this alleged incident.

The officer also told the court police have concerns O’Donnell will interfere with witnesses.

A defence solicitor said the proposed bail address was in Garvagh, more than 16 miles away from the alleged injured party’s home.

District Judge John Meehan said there is a ‘very serious atmosphere around this whole thing’.

However, he said he was prepared to grant bail with stringent conditions.

O’Donnell was released on his own bail of £300 with one surety of £300 to reside at an address in Garvagh.

The 25-year-old must abide by a curfew and is banned from consuming alcohol or contacting witnesses.

He will appear in Magherafelt court again on April 20.