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Couple accused of threats to kill judge and social worker


Michael Wray and Olivia Girvin

Michael Wray and Olivia Girvin

Michael Wray and Olivia Girvin

A COUPLE appeared in court yesterday accused of threatening to kill District Judge Nigel Broderick.

Michael Wray (28) and his partner Olivia Girvin (25) are also charged with threatening to kill a social worker.

The couple appeared in court by video-link from custody and were jointly charged with five offences alleged to have been committed in July.

Wray, from Ballymena’s Sunningdale Park, and Girvin, from Ballyclug Mews, were also charged with the improper use of a telecommunication network to send threatening messages, namely threats to kill and threats to damage property.

An officer told the hearing in Ballymena she could connect each of the accused to the offences and that police were objecting to bail given the seriousness of the offences.

She outlined how the offences came to light when a solicitor acting for the couple in parallel legal proceedings received three emails from Wray’s account threatening: “I will burn that building down with them all in it if no one listens to me… It’s their own fault if they get f***** up by me”; “I’m going to kill the social and Broderick. Let’s have some f****** fun. I have lost everything. I have done everything you wanted me to”; “all socials are targets”.

The officer told the court that when Wray was arrested, he claimed “it was Olivia”, and when she was charged, she accepted sending two of the messages.

A defence lawyer explained that because of the parallel proceedings the couple had been having “an extremely difficult” time, but stressed the messages were not sent directly to the judge or the social worker.

“There was absolutely no intention to carry out these threats,” said the barrister. “They can see that this was not an appropriate way of conducting themselves.”

District Judge Oonagh Mullan said: “Whilst I have every sympathy for the defendants in terms of what they’re going through, it’s not very often we get a situation where judiciary are under threat.”

She told the couple their actions were “totally unacceptable” and her concern was, if she released them and they continue drinking, “there’s a real risk that these threats could be carried out”.

“I’m not going to put social workers or the judiciary to that level of threat,” said the judge as she refused release.

The case was adjourned to July 21.

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