A Co Armagh maths teacher faces a potential jail sentence after he confessed to a catalogue of harassment, intimidation and making threats to kill today (Wednesday).
With 41-year-old Patrick Hollywood standing in the dock of Newry Crown Court, defence QC Charles McKay asked for each of the 19 charges to be put to the former teacher again.
Having confirmed his personal details, Hollywood, from the Upper Fathom Road in Newry, and who was a teacher at St Patrick’s High School in Keady, entered guilty pleas to seven charges of making a threat to kill, six of harassment, four of attempted intimidation and single counts of forgery and causing another person to fear that violence would be used against them.
All were committed between 31 December 2016 and 1 December 2018.
None of the facts were opened today, but it is understood the charges follow an investigation into complaints of harassment and intimidation over incidents at St Patrick’s High School in Keady which was at the centre of allegations of English and Maths GCSE exam malpractice by teachers following some high marks achieved at the school.
According to the particulars of the forgery offence, Hollywood forged “a letter of dismissal, with the intention of using it to induce another person to accept it as genuine and, by reason of so accepting it, to do some act, or not to do some act, to his own or any other person’s prejudice”.
In relation to the attempted intimidation charges, Hollywood has admitted trying to use “force, threats or menaces” to cause a female complainant “to refrain from doing an act, namely, helping Patrick Hollywood pursue an appeal against sanctions imposed by the CCEA” while he tried to make another female complainant “reject the appeal submitted by Patrick Hollywood to the CCEA”.
In another intimidation offence Hollywood tried to use “force, threats or menaces or in any way whatsoever to cause another person to refrain from…taking up the post of Principal of St Patrick’s High School, Keady”.
The teacher turned bully has admitted harassing former principal of the school Pat McGuckian who resigned from her post in April 2018 citing what she described as “a vicious campaign of bullying and harassment”, having received a series of malicious and anonymous letters since January 2017.
In court today (Wednesday) Mr McKay asked for sentencing to be adjourned to allow time for various reports, including a pre-sentence probation report, to be compiled.
Adjourning the case until June 30 for sentencing, Judge Gordon Kerr said while he was granting continuing bail to Hollywood, he warned the bully “not to take that as any indication what sentence may be passed”.