Hurtful comment led Queensferry man to attack brother

Published date: 28 February 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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THE brother of Big Fat Gypsy Wedding star Paddy Doherty punched another brother at a family wake after he snapped over a hurtful comment about his dead son, a court heard.

Martin McDonagh had never got over the death of his own son 16 years ago and had used alcohol to cope.

After a family funeral former bare-knuckle boxing champion and Big Brother winner Paddy Doherty attacked his brother Douglas McDonagh in The Melrose pub in Shotton.

Martin McDonagh initially acted as a peacemaker and remonstrated with Doherty and protected the victim.

But magistrates heard claims that Douglas McDonagh then made comments about Martin McDonagh’s dead son and he “lost it”.

He punched him to the floor, picked him up and put him on a stool but punched him twice more.

At Flintshire Magistrates Court Martin McDonagh, 52, of The Riverside Caravan Park, Queensferry, was placed on a community order for 12 months with supervision.

He must follow a six-month alcohol treatment course and is banned from contacting the victim for 12 months.

Magistrates ordered him to pay £125 costs, but no compensation because they felt to do so would only inflame the problems in the family.

He and his brother Paddy Doherty, 54, also of Riverside Caravan Park, both admitted assaulting their brother.

The incident put Paddy Doherty in breach of a suspended prison sentence for affray and he will be sentenced at Manchester Crown Court next week.

CCTV footage of the incident was played to magistrates by Justin Espie, prosecuting.

It showed all three brothers sitting at the bar at The Melrose pub.

Mr Espie said Doherty appeared to touch the victim’s face.

“Doherty then headbutted him twice in the face and as a result he fell to the floor.

“He was dragged to his feet by McDonagh,” Mr Espie said.

He said Doherty continued with his aggressive behaviour towards the victim and was seen with his hands in the air and to approach the victim on a number of times but was prevented from doing so by McDonagh “who appears to be looking after the victim.”

His concern was such that at one stage the defendant got a cloth and wiped the victim’s face which had blood pouring down it. Mr Espie said the defendant had also been hugging the victim.

But something happened between them because he then punched the victim three times.

The victim ended up with a two to three inch long cut above his left eye, a small cut above the right eye and a small cut to his left ear.

Michael Sopholeous, defending, said there had been a long running family dispute.

That day they had travelled at the request of their mother to attend the funeral and pay their respects to another family member who had died.

After the altercation between Doherty and the victim, Mr Sopholeous said the defendant McDonagh did not react when the victim swore at him.

But he was caused great distress when the victim said: “You son David is better off in the grave than with you.”

In drink those upsetting words from his own brother “pushed him over the edge” and caused him to react as he did.

Mr Sopholeous said he had since been contacted by the victim who confirmed he had provoked the defendant.

“Emotions were running high,” he said.

The defendant McDonagh had been out of trouble for many years apart from an assault on his wife in 2012. They had been married for 35 years but they were no longer together.

He suffered from depression and panic attacks and had previously tried to commit suicide.

“Sadly it is all connected to the death of his son,” Mr Sopholeous said.

“He would not have acted in this way if he had been sober.”

Mr Sopholeous said that the brothers had now resolved their differences.

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