Belfast Telegraph

Thug guilty of battering family during violent raid that left schoolboy needing emergency brain surgery

By George Jackson

A man has been found guilty of a savage attack that left a brave schoolboy needing emergency brain surgery after he tried to protect his grandmother during a violent burglary.

Scrap dealer Michael Mongan was also found guilty of assaulting two family members in their home last year after he fractured the boy's skull.

The thug, with a string of 69 previous convictions, displayed no emotions as he stood in the dock at the Crown Court in Derry.

During the trial the jurors heard how 16-year-old Philip Convery had to have emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain after he was struck on the head with an iron bar.

Philip, who was studying for his GCSE maths examination that night, had managed to grab a handgun from one of the two intruders in their Mayogall Road home, near Magherafelt.

The teenager said he pointed the weapon and pulled the trigger – but the gun did not discharge.

A previous court heard how 70-year-old Teresa Convery suffered severe bruising when she was beaten about the legs with an iron bar.

Her son, Philip's 44-year-old uncle Martin, was also injured.

Mongan, from White Rise in the Dunmurry area of Belfast, was convicted of all eight charges linked to the attack on the family on June 5 last year, including assaulting all three.

The jury found 23-year-old Mongan guilty of all the charges by 10-2 majority verdicts after a 10-day trial.

Mongan had 69 previous convictions including assaults, burglaries, intimidating a witness, and telling a mother and son they would be murdered if they complained about him.

Mongan had already been on bail for receiving stolen goods and driving while disqualified, and was being prosecuted for six burglaries in the Magherafelt area where firearms were stolen.

Mongan denied assaulting Mrs Convery, Philip and her son Martin, a bank manager, with the iron bar.

He also denied attempting to steal £10,000 from the Convery family after forcing his way into the family home with another man, who wore a balaclava and who was armed with the handgun.

He further denied committing driving offences on the same day.

The jury was told that there was no forensic evidence to link the defendant to either the family home or to a car used as a getaway vehicle.

Mongan was arrested three days after the assaults.

Following his conviction trial Judge Philip Babington said he would sentence Mongan on November 8 following pre-sentence, psychiatric and victim impact reports.

Mongan was picked out of a police line-up by both Teresa and Philip Convery, but Michael Convery identified another man.

Both the prosecution and defence barristers told the jurors that the case was simply one of identity.

Meanwhile, Mongan has been remanded back into custody until his sentencing next month.

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