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Well-known Portadown employer broke into home and assaulted three people in dispute over land

Craigavon Courthouse

A Portadown man who assaulted three people over a land dispute has been given a three year suspended sentence.

Andrew Robinson, 42, of Loughgall Road, appeared before Craigavon Crown Court on Monday for sentencing.

He was charged with burglary with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, threats to kill, threats to damage property, three counts of common assault against three different victims and three counts of criminal damage.

The offences occurred on June 13 of last year.

Robinson had pleaded guilty to the three counts of criminal damage originally at arraignment, and to the remaining charges at a re-arraignment hearing last Wednesday (June 29).

The Court heard of a “campaign of nuisance and annoyance and threats” over the course of four years, which eventually culminated in an incident at the injured party’s house.

Robinson’s defence solicitor said: “He’s a significant local employer with a substantial number of employees. This was an aberration in his life but it resulted from acute psychological stress.

“Mr Robinson simply broke and went to the house and did what he did. It dissipated very quickly in terms of his intent.

“The defendant is an upstanding member of the community and he’s unlikely to ever be in a courtroom again in his life.”

Presiding officer, His Honour Judge Patrick Lynch QC, said that Robinson was a man of “good character”.

“A hard-working man, providing employment to individuals in the area,” he added.

“The activities of the injured party in this case would try the patience of a saint according to your own account…..I accept that at the time of the commission of these offences you were under severe psychological pressure as a result of the activities of individuals in relation to the land.

“It was clear that whatever your intention was whenever you entered the premises, that dissipated, and you did not carry out intention to cause serious bodily harm.

“You cannot take the law into your own hands whatever the provocation may be and that’s why you appear before me. That’s why you’ll have a criminal record and that’s why a sentence of imprisonment will be passed today.”

To this end, in respect of each of the charges, taking into account the defendant’s plea of guilty and the various mitigating circumstances, Judge Lynch imposed a period of three years in custody for the burglary with intent to commit grievous bodily harm,  18 months for the threats to kill, 12 months for the threats to damage property, three months for the common assaults and 12 months for the criminal damage.

In addition, these sentences were suspended for a period of three years from today, and a compensation order for £10,000 was made, in relation to the criminal damage.

Judge Lynch concluded: “If you recommit any imprisonable offence, to emphasise, any imprisonable offence, you’re liable to be brought back before this court and may be required to serve the three year sentence.”

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