Belfast Telegraph

Accused 'in hammer and cleaver kill threat to couple'

By Ashleigh McDonald

A man stood outside the home of a couple in Strabane brandishing a meat cleaver and claw hammer and told them he was going to kill them for being "RAAD (Republican Action Against Drugs) touts", a court has heard.

Geoffrey Paul Doherty, from Meadow Close in Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone, is accused of issuing the threats at the home of a couple on the Ballycolman estate on September 1, 2014.

The 36-year-old - who is being tried on five charges at Omagh Crown Court sitting in Belfast - admitted being outside the couple's home on the day in question but denies issuing the threats and possessing both the meat cleaver and the claw hammer.

Opening the Crown case against Doherty, prosecuting barrister Rosemary Walsh said that on the day in question, the male complainant was walking through the town centre when he heard a voice behind him saying "you are a RAAD tout".

When the man turned around he saw Doherty, who had taken his top off and was coming towards him swinging his arms.

Ms Walsh said a "scuffle" between the two men broke out, and it is the Crown's case that Doherty then tried to gouge the other man's eyes out.

The pair fell to the ground, but the male complainant was able to get to his feet and walked home.

Six hours later, at around 5.30pm, the man was at home with his partner when he heard a male voice outside his home shouting: "I am going to kill you. Youse are RAAD touts."

Doherty, who the Crown says was the man outside the house, "had both hands above his head and had a meat cleaver and a claw hammer".

The female occupant said she saw Doherty remove the cleaver from his tracksuit bottoms, and that he told her: "I am going to kill you and I am going to kill him."

Doherty then left the area but was apprehended a short distance from the scene at Melvin Road.

When searched by police for weapons Doherty had nothing in his hands or concealed.

Police also searched the path and riverbank and found nothing, while there was nothing found during a subsequent search of his home either.

Doherty denied he had a meat cleaver and claw hammer when he went to the man's house, and also denied threatening to kill both him and his partner.

At hearing.

Belfast Telegraph


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