Co Antrim man sentenced for making threat to kill after telling his wife he would put her in a 'hole in the moss'

A man convicted of making a threat to kill for telling his wife he would put her in a "hole in the moss," has been given a six months prison sentence, suspended for three years.

John O'Boyle (38), of Greenan Road near Randalstown, was at Ballymena Magistrates' Court for sentencing on charges of making a threat to kill, assault and 'domestic abuse'.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges but was convicted at an earlier contest. He continues to deny the charges, a defence barrister said.

A prosecutor said on May 11 last year police attended an address and a woman said she had been separated from her husband, the defendant, since January 2021 but "both continued to reside at the marital home".

Ballymena courthouseBallymena courthouse
Ballymena courthouse

The woman said she was assaulted when the defendant grabbed her by the arms and pushed her.

The prosecutor said the woman said O'Boyle said to her: "I will put you in a hole in the moss".

The court heard there was a "moss pit" nearby and the woman said the comment was a "threat to her life" and made her frightened.

A defence barrister said the defendant continues to deny the charges and "is still of the opinion that he did nothing wrong and did not commit the offences Your Worship has convicted him of".

The lawyer said it has been asserted that the defendant would put the woman "under a mound of earth" close to their home but that was denied by the defendant.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said he was satisfied that during the contest the evidence given by the complainant had been "reliable and credible".

He told the defendant a Victim Impact Statement showed the complainant had "sustained significant emotional trauma as a result of your behaviour".

Handing down a six months prison term, suspended for three years, the judge said he had increased the sentence because it was a 'domestic abuse' case.

A three-year Restraining Order was also put in place.