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Rage-filled son told parents ‘I’ll be back to burn you out’ after smashing up furniture with golf club

The district judge told him 'you have come to the end of your runway' as she ordered he serve 10 months in jail

Craigavon Court

A Craigavon man who smashed furniture in his parents’ home with a golf club and threatened to burn the property down has been sentenced to 10 months in prison.

A district judge said the 24-year-old had come to the end of his runway as he had already been given a chance just five weeks prior to this offence when he was handed a suspended sentence.

David Braniff, of Old Fort Lodge, pleaded guilty to threats to damage property, possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence, assault on police, disorderly behaviour and two counts of criminal damage at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, where he appeared via videolink from Maghaberry.

Court heard that on January 23, at around 10pm, police received a report from the injured party that her son, the defendant, was in his bedroom smashing furniture with a golf club.

Officers arrived at the address on Old Fort Lodge and heard banging coming from the upstairs of the property.

Police then saw Braniff at the top of the stairs, where he appeared aggressive and confrontational.

The defendant began to swing the golf club hitting the walls and ceiling.

Despite being asked to stop and police deploying CS spray Braniff continued to swing the club.

The defendant was eventually detained and as he was led away he turned and shouted: “I’ll be back to burn you out.”

Braniff was placed in a police car but had to be taken out after spitting on the rear and front interior of the vehicle.

As officers waited on a cell van, the defendant then began to shout and swear in what is a residential area.

Court heard Braniff told police: “You should not be wearing those uniforms you f****** b*******”.

When interviewed about the offences the defendant made no comment.

Defence barrister Conor Lunny stated: “Mr Braniff was drunk and had mud on his clothes. He cannot explain the state he was in.

“He has had brain damage from birth and the property was that of his parents where he grew up.”

He added: “Most of the damage was done to his own belongings in his bedroom.

“He came home in a rage and frightened his parents with his behaviour.”

Mr Lunny highlighted that the offence occurred just six weeks after the defendant was handed a suspended sentence.

He stated: “I cannot seek for any credit and Mr Braniff is not going anywhere anytime soon.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “I am not going to order a pre-sentence report, you were given a chance in December last year and you have come to the end of your runway.”

Braniff was sentenced to five months in prison for these offences with a further five months of his suspended sentences being invoked.

These were ordered to run consecutively resulting in a 10-month sentence.

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