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Armagh man sent daughter messages threatening to kill her mother

'I'm looking at these messages and I've been given a flavour of the misogynistic messages and the threats in relation to his ex-partner'

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man who sent messages to his daughter threatening to kill her mum has avoided a jail sentence.

Connor James Murphy (42), of Drumsill Park, appeared for sentencing before Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry Courthouse on Tuesday.

He was charged with threats to kill, breach of a non-molestation order and improper use of public electronic communications.

The Prosecution told the court that on February 4, a person contacted police report that her ex-partner had breached a non-molestation order by sending threatening messages.

She attended Armagh Police Station and provided a statement in relation to messages that her daughter had received from her father, the defendant.

The defendant’s ex-partner said she felt threatened and intimidated by the messages, thus placing them in breach of the non-molestation order.

Murphy subsequently sent messages apologising for his behaviour.

Speaking on Murphy’s behalf, a defence lawyer said: “He hangs his head in shame for what he done here in terms of contacting his daughter in a state of intoxication”, adding the defendant had apologised when he sobered up.

The defence further claimed the defendant “accepts fully” what happened and seeks to “build a relationship” with his children.

It was noted the defendant had a limited criminal record, with no convictions of a violent nature.

District Judge Anne Marshall was notably shocked by the messages, saying: “I’m looking at these messages and I’ve been given a flavour of the misogynistic messages and the threats in relation to his ex-partner.”

She also questioned the defence’s argument that alcohol was to blame for the incident, stating: “There’s lots of people get intoxicated and don’t send messages to their children.”

Judge Marshall sentenced Murphy to a two-year probation order, meaning he must live at an approved address, participate in required programmes of work and undergo mental health treatment.

A restraining order was also imposed for two years in respect of the ex-partner.

Judge Marshall added: “You need all the help that probation can give you to look at your attitude towards your ex-partner and how you thought this was appropriate even in the most extremes of drunkenness.”

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