Belfast Telegraph

Two brothers jailed for stabbing cousin

By Ashleigh McDonald

Two brothers who stabbed their cousin during a confrontation arising from a family dispute have each been handed a 30-month prison sentence.

The brothers and their cousin are members of the Travelling community, and while the brothers instigated the confrontation, Belfast Crown Court yesterday heard despite being stabbed with two bladed instruments including a samurai sword-type weapon, their victim "got the better" of them and made his way home "bloodied but unbowed".

Appearing in court were Thomas Gerard Mongan (28), also known as Thomas Gerard McDonagh, from Valleyside Close in the city and his brother William Mongan (29), from the city's Bleach Green. The brothers were initially charged with attempted murder, but this charge was left on the books when they pleaded guilty to wounding.

They will spend half their sentence in prison, with the remaining 15 months spent on supervised licence when they are released.

A prosecutor told the court police were called to the Alliance Avenue area of the city early on September 8 last year following reports of a man being stabbed.

The victim Martin Heaney was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital where he was treated for 'superficial' stab wounds to his arm, back and abdomen.

The prosecutor said the incident, part of which was captured on CCTV at Mr Heaney's home, began when Thomas Mongan arrived and proceeded to knock and kick the front door. CCTV showed Mongan checking something up his sleeve, which the Crown say was one of the knives used in the attack. Mr Heaney answered the door and when he and Mr Mongan were out on the street a fight broke out. William Mongan - who was wielding the samurai sword-type weapon - joined in. Mr Heaney was struck and the brothers fled and were later arrested.

Telling the brothers the attack was "serious", Judge Geoffrey Millar QC spoke of Mr Heaney's injuries and said the custodial sentence was "justified".

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