Keep up with Armagh i

Brothers who robbed priests in crime spree put behind bars

Two brothers have been jailed for seven years following a crime spree which saw a priest held against his will and robbed.

Owen John Maughan, 38, with an address of HMP Maghaberry, and his brother John Patrick Maughan, 32, from Birchdale Manor in Lurgan went on a three-day crime spree in July of last year.

The pair were arrested in July 2016 after police chased a stolen Hyundai from across two counties. Both men had carried out three burglaries and attempted a further two.

Owen Maughan was also sentenced for breaking into the Parochial House at St Peter’s Catherdral on the Falls Road in Belfast the year before, while his brother John admitted driving offences.

During that particular break-in at St Peter’s, a handgun was produced and Maughan held a 53-year old priest against his will for a period.

Personal items and £850 of weekend offerings from Mass were taken.

During the burglaries 2016 the court heard how weapons were also produced and violence threatened.

On July 22, the brothers purchased a £300 Vauxhall Corsa in Lurgan.

Later that day, they tried to break into St Colmcille’s Church in Holywood. However, they left without entering.

The same day they broke into St Michael’s in Finaghy after a 71-year old priest answered the door. The brothers produced a black handgun before ransacking the property.  They made off with £80 and a set of keys.

Later that night in Dungannon an elderly couple were robbed with the brothers claiming to be from the IRA and threatened to shoot them if they failed to hand over money.

Two days later they tried breaking into a Parochial House in Castlewellan but failed. A shop in the area was later broken into but nothing taken.

They then struck at a home in Castlewellan, again threatening violence.

They were arrested following a police chase the following day.

Owen Maughan was sentenced for two counts of attempted burglary with intent to steal, three counts of aggravated burglary and theft, burglary with intent to steal and allowing self to be carried.

John Maughanwas sentenced for two counts of attempted burglary with intent to steal, two counts of aggravated burglary and theft, burglary with intent to steal, dangerous driving, Att’d possession of firearm in suspicious, resisting police, possessing Class B controlled drug, and failing to stop where accident occurred causing injury.

Become a member

Support local, independent businesses by becoming an independent member.

Become a member

Most read today

More in Lurgan