Sunday 22 April 2018

Man jailed for threats to rape and murder girl

Ciaran Murphy

A FATHER with 89 previous convictions has been jailed for threats to murder and rape a 16-year-old girl.

Father-of-two Michael Martin (34), with an address at Poleberry in Waterford, was jailed for 10 months yesterday for threatening to kill and "cut up" the girl, in a text message.

The court heard that Martin, who has been receiving treatment for mental difficulties since the age of six, sent the girl the "grossly offensive" and terrifying text from another man's phone in July 2012.

He was charged with sending a threatening message under Section 13 of the Post Office [Amendment] Act 1951 and pleaded guilty at the court yesterday.

The girl was supposed to believe that the text was sent by the other man, who had earlier been involved in a row with Martin.

ALTERCATION

Martin found the man's phone following an altercation and texted the girl, supplying the man's address and first name. The text also said: "I am going to get you and rape you and murder you . . . I'm going to cut you up."

Detective Garda Kevin Nolan told Judge Kevin Staunton that Martin had told gardai in a statement that: "I was only getting back at [phone owner's name] for stealing my girlfriend.

"I had no intention to do any of those things to that girl. Tell that girl I'm sorry for sending that text; I only wanted to get back at [him]. Tell the guards I'm sorry as well."

Reading from a letter in the witness box at the District Court in Waterford yesterday, Martin said he was sorry for his "extremely shameful and hurtful" actions.

While noting the accused's "eloquent" letter, guilty plea, remorse and psychological difficulties, Judge Staunton said that the threats in such "a revolting text message" must incur a custodial sentence.

Martin, who is already in custody on another matter, will begin the 10-month sentence in February, when the current term ends.

Irish Independent

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