Belfast Telegraph

I pointed gun at neighbour's groin during row, man admits to court

By Paul Higgins

A man has admitted pointing a gun at his neighbour's groin during a long-running dispute.

The Belfast Crown Court trial of John Kiley (63) was in its second day when his lawyer asked for the charges to be put to him again.

Kiley pleaded guilty to charges of possessing a Browning 9mm pistol with intent to cause fear of violence on May 17 last year and a further charge of making a threat to kill his neighbour Patrick Corvan was left on the books.

The jury of seven men and four women heard that Kiley and his neighbour Mr Corvan “did not get on very well at all”.

The pair owned adjoining properties at Quarry Cottages in Whitehead, Co Antrim with Mr Corvan and his family living there permanently while it was a holiday home for Kiley.

Things came to a head, the jury was told, on May 17 last year when Mr Corvan noticed a stranger, who turned out to be an Environmental Health engineer, talking to Kiley while standing on Mr Corvan’s property.

“There was certainly a lot of sensitivity about who owned what ground at the front of the properties,” said the lawyer adding that when Mr Corvan asked them to get off his property, “words were exchanged between them about what they would do to each other”.

Mrs Kitson described how, after the engineer had gone, Kiley went back into his cottage but came out and the pair continued to hurl abuse at each other.

She claimed, however, that Kiley reached behind him and pulled a pistol from his waistband which he then cocked, pointed at Mr Corvan's groin and threatened “words to the effect that he was going to put one in him and drop him”.

Equally incensed and frightened, Mr Corvan challenged him to “come on” but Kiley backed off and went back into his cottage while Mr Corvan went into his and called the police.

Kiley denied the incident happened or that he threatened Mr Corvan, claiming instead that his neighbour had come to his front door and that he felt so threatened, he felt he needed the weapon for his own defence.

By his plea, however, he has abandoned that defence and has been released on bail by Judge Gordon Kerr QC who will sentence him next month once pre-sentence probation reports have been compiled.

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