Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland woman who attacked ex-partner's car with drill could face jail

By Nevin Farrell

A woman who tooled herself up with a drill to cause such severe damage to a car belonging to her former fiance that the vehicle was deemed too dangerous to drive by insurers, has been warned she could face jail.

Anna Maguire (56), of Glengorm Avenue, Coleraine, carried out a campaign of harassment against Andrew Farrer from Portrush and also superglued locks at his home and poisoned plants in his garden, Coleraine Magistate's Court heard on Tuesday.

CCTV cameras at Mr Farrer's home snared Maguire entering his property, once in the middle of the night  as he slept inside, and also blatantly in day light in the middle of the afternoon when he was out at a charity event.

Mr Farrer told the court the campaign of harassment erupted after he ended his relationship with Maguire because she had an "affair".

He had known her for eight years, been with her for four years and was engaged to be married for two years.

Maguire struck at his Morrison Park home twice within five days in May last year.

Mr Farrer told the court Maguire tooled herself up with a drill and also targeted a car belonging to his new partner, who is since deceased.

Maguire admitted causing criminal damage to Mr Farrer's Peugeot 307, a house door lock and plants and also pleaded guilty to a harassment charge.

She contested other charges of damaging a Peugeot 107 belonging to Mr Farrer's then partner and damaging his letterbox as well as a charge of harassment relating to May last year but was convicted of the charges by District Judge Liam McNally on Tuesday.

As Maguire, who was accompanied by a man to court, sat just feet away, Mr Farrer told the court he had been living with the defendant and they were engaged but they broke up in 2015 "when I found out she was having an affair".

As Mr Farrer's CCTV images were shown to the court, he said it showed a figure entering his garden in the early hours of the morning and pouring what he said turned out to be superglue into his letterbox and he said he knew it was Maguire because of the way she walked.

Five days later he said he and his partner were in Portrush for a charity raft race to raise money for lifeboats and when he returned home around 5pm he spotted flat tyres on both his and his partner's vehicles.

He tried to put his key into the front door but couldn't as it had been superglued and his "very distressed" partner had to climb through a bedroom window to let him in.

Mr Farrer immediately scanned his CCTV and it showed that just an hour earlier a person he said was Maguire arrived in a car before supergluing the water nozzles, door handles and diesel cap on his car.

She then pulled out "a drill" and punctured a tyre and used it on various parts of his car and he said she seemed to try to drill into the fuel line and at one stage crawled under the vehicle.

He told the court: "The insurance company wrote the car off because they were unsure what she had been drilling, they were worried it would have been unsafe to drive".

An emotional Mr Farrer said his late partner's car was also targeted by the drill and garden plants were poisoned which died three days later.

The victim said in both attacks the culprit was wearing the same bodywarmer and he said he could identify Maguire in the images as he knew the way she walked and moved after living with her.

Defence solictor Garrett Greene said the defendant did not wish to give evidence and was not calling any defence witnesses.

Convicting Maguire of the contested charges, Judge McNally said the defendant pleaded guilty to the May 28 offence and he said the CCTV showed the same person damaging the other vehicle on that date.

The judge said during a police interview Maguire initially denied being at the house but then did plead guilty to one charge.

He said the CCTV showed the defendant sneaking onto the property and causing a "substantial amount of damage" to both vehicles and he said he had to take an inference from her refusal not to give evidence.

Concerning the May 23 incident, he said the person on that occasion was wearing the same jacket and said Mr Farrer had recognised the defendant as he had lived with her for eight years and the modus operandi on both dates was the same.

The defence solicitor said his client had a previously clear record and said her "unblemished profession" in health care could be affected by the outcome of the court.

Mr Greene said Maguire had brought £300 restitution to court to give to Mr Farrer.

Judge McNally said he was adjourned sentencing until late August as the case met the criteria for a jail term.

"Not only has she harassed these two people in a way that you are not normally able to see so graphically" but she had also forced Mr Farrer to give evidence and "relive the ordeal", he said.

Ahead of sentencing, the judge also issued a temporary Restraining Order banning the defendant from having any direct or indirect contact with Mr Farrer and she is banned from entering his address.

Maguire made no comment to the press when she left court.

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