A MAN who attacked members of a Castlebar-based family, including an 11- year-old, with a machete, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
The attack on the family in November 2013 by Michael Maughan (22), Moneen Campsite, Castlebar, was described by Judge Rory MacCabe at Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court as a case of ‘deliberate, premeditated’ violence.
The judge said that Maughan, who was wearing a balaclava, had entered his victims’ caravan at Turlough Road, Castlebar, along with another man who was also armed, and inflicted ‘grotesque injuries’.
Machetes, the judge noted, were the weapon of choice employed in the recent ethnic slaughter of hundreds of thousands in Rwanda.
It was a crude and terrible weapon, he added, capable of causing death and inflicting appalling injury.
As he tried to escape Maughan was tackled by the father of the family, one of his victims, and was identified after having his mask removed.
Prior to his sentencing, the accused, who pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, told the judge he had been high on drugs.
He also said he had been fearful of his life at the time as there had been failed attempts to kill two of his brothers and another brother had been murdered.
The judge said it gave him no pleasure whatever to see a relatively young, conventionally fit and able man go to jail for such a lengthy period.
Judge MacCabe went on to warn other potential wrongdoers: “Carry weapons at your peril, use them to hurt people, expect no mercy from me. Sentencing is not about revenge. It’s about justice and fairness.”
The judge earlier said previous suspended prison sentences had produced no meaningful evidence of rehabilitation in Maughan whom he described as a menace to society.