Magherafelt man threatened to cut ex-wife’s throat after ‘struggling’ with break-up

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A Magherafelt man who bombarded his ex-wife with more than 50 calls and voice messages to her phone after struggling to deal with the break-up of the relationship, has received a prison sentence for harassment.

Thomas Maguire, 60, from Hillhead Road in the town, pleaded guilty to the charge via videolink from Maghaberry Prison to Dungannon Magistrates Court.

Maguire also admitted charges of breaching a non-molestation order, making threats to kill, making threats to damage property, and persistent improper use of a public electronic communications network.

The offences took place on May 28.

A further charge of breaching a non molestation order on June 7 was also admitted by Maguire.

A prosecuting lawyer explained that police were contacted by Maguire’s ex-wife who reported that the defendant approached her when her car broke down on Chapel Street, Cookstown, on May 28, and insisted on pushing the vehicle and jump-starting it even though she had protested against that.

Police officers were told that Maguire’s ex-wife had received 55 calls to her phone, five of which she answered.

In the calls that were answered, the defendant told his former wife he would “cut her throat” and “burn her house”, the court heard.

The ex-wife also received seven voicemails to her phone from Maguire’s number, in which he said he would “carve her” and “burn her car”.

Defending, a lawyer acting for Maguire told the court hearing that the couple had been married for five years.

After losing a child in 2005, the couple’s relationship was never the same, the lawyer added.

“She wished to bring the relationship to an end and he (Maguire) has struggled with that”, said the lawyer.

Imposing a total sentence of six months in prison, Deputy District Judge Copeland said Maguire’s ex-wife was “entitled to some peace from him”.