Jailed for eight years for ‘appalling’ sectarian attack

Paul McGarrigle
Paul McGarrigle

A community worker who pleaded guilty to an “ unprovoked sectarian attack” has been jailed for eight years.

Paul McGarrigle, of Foyle Crescent, Newbuildings, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, attempted grievous bodily harm with intent and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The 42-year-old also admitted criminal damage.

The charges relate to an incident on December 21, 2012 in the Bond Street area of the Waterside.

Derry Crown Court heard McGarrigle used a hammer to assault the 19-year-old who had moved into the house just three weeks before.

Passing sentence, Judge Philip Babington said it was an ‘appalling case’ in which a young man was ‘badly beaten in his own home for no other reason than that the defendant considered he was of the wrong religion to be living in that area’.

He said that references spoke highly of McGarrigle and the cross community work he has been involved in.

However, the judge said it is ‘very hard to believe that they relate to the defendant as his actions on this night were in stark contrast to what has been written about him’.

McGarrigle received a determinate sentence of eight years, four years of which will be spent in custody with the remaining four years on licence.