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Pensioner threatened to shoot stepson during row

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Enniskillen Court House

BELLEEK man has been convicted of threatening to shoot his step-son in the head during a row at their home.
David Dillon (71) of Main Street, Belleek appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court last Wednesday where he contested charges of threats to kill, possession of an offensive weapon with the intention of committing an offence, common assault, and threats to damage property.
Josef Dunleavy told the court that on the morning of February 5th this year he returned to the family home on the Tullychurry Road, where he lived with his mother, sister, and Dillon, who was his mother’s partner. An argument broke out between Mr Dunleavy and the defendant regarding tools being thrown out of a shed onto the ground.
During that argument Mr Dunleavy said Dillon “came up to my face and said he’d blow my f**king brains out,” and had made a gesture with his figures, representing a gun to the head. He said Dillon had a licensed rifle, and he was afraid he would get the gun and use it to kill him, his mother, or his sister.
Mr Dunleavy claimed Dillon then went and got a meat cleaver from the kitchen, so he shouted his mother and they, along with his sister, left the house. They brought their mother to SWAH as she had pain in her back, and from there they called the police. When asked why it had taken so long to call the police, he said his priority was getting his family out of the house safely and then getting his mother to hospital as she was in pain.
It was also alleged Dillon had threatened to burn the house down.
In her evidence to the court, his mother Valerie Dunleavy said she heard Dillon, who had been her partner for around 30 years, threaten her son but did not see him with the meat cleaver.
Under questioning from Dillon’s defence solicitor Gary Black, Ms Dunleavy denied the allegations before the court had been “a way of getting him out of the house” which they’d built in the 1990s.
In his evidence, Dillon denied all the allegations against him. He admitted there had been an argument between himself and Mr Dunleavy, stating his stepson had been upset, but denied making threats to him and making threats to burn the house down. With regard to the meat cleaver, he explained after the argument he’d gone into the kitchen to make breakfast and to access a pot stand he had to remove two meat choppers from a rack, which he said he replaced right away. He said he did not advance towards Mr Dunleavy with the blade.
After taking some time to deliberate on her ruling, District Judge Bonita Boyd said she did not feel there was enough evidence regarding the charges related to the meat cleaver, and found Dillon not guilty of the charges of common assault and possessing an offensive weapon.
Judge Boyd did convict Dillon of the threats to kill and damage property, and adjourned sentencing until May 21st for a pre-sentence report.


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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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