Man threatened to throw boiling water over ex-partner in letter

Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC
Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC

A man wrote letters from prison to his ex-partner in which he threatened to “boil the kettle 20 times” and then throw it over her, a court has heard.

Paul Francis McLarnon (63), whose address was given as HMP Maghaberry, will be sentenced next week at Ballymena Magistrates Court after admitting two counts of breaching a restraining order.

The court was told that on October 1 last year, the injured party made a 999 call to police to say she had received a threatening letter in the post which she believed was from her ex-partner.

The letter contained various threats , one of which said that on his release from prison, the defendant would come to her home, “boil the kettle 20 times” and then throw it over her, the court heard.

She woman was left “terrified” by the threat and a handwriting expert was able to link the defendant to the letter.

When interviewed by police, the defendant said he could not remember sending the letter and claimed the victim had made her complaint “because he was going for parole and she didn’t want him to get out,” a Public Prosecution Service representative told the court.

The court also heard that a restraining order against the defendant is currently in place until 2028.

Barrister Sean Doherty said that “correspondence was, for a significant period, a two-way process” between the defendant and the injured party.

He said that McLarnon had been refused parole “on the basis of these letters”.

“These letters have had a direct impact on his release date - he has paid a very heavy price,” the barrister added.

District Judge Des perry adjourned sentencing until August 5 in order to “give due consideration to an appropriate sentence”.

He warned Mclarnon, however, that “in all probability, it will be consecutive to your release date”.