A CONVICTED gang rapist who first came before the courts when he was just 13 years old, has been sentenced to three years in prison for threatening to “burn out” the house of Euro Millions winner Delores McNamara’s sister in July 2011. Thomas O’Neill (24) of The Meadows, Murroe was part of a gang of youths that raped a woman in Cratloe Woods in 2003 and he was given a 10 year sentence aged just 16. At Limerick Circuit Court this week O’Neill and his 26-year-old co-accused, Dean Hehir of Collins Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston pleaded guilty to making threats to cause criminal damage to Jennifer McCarthy outside her then home at Speakers Corner, Hyde Road.
Judge Carroll Moran was told that Dean Hehir issued a threat to “kill and burn out you and your kids” to Ms McCarthy while Thomas O’Neill further threatened to “burn out” the home of her mother, Deirdre O’Donovan, a sister of Euromillions winner Delores McNamara.
There was no follow-up to the threats and there was no evidence of ill will between the two men and Ms McCarthy since then.
Judge Moran said that a three-year sentence was appropriate but agreed to impose a suspended sentence on Dean Hehir.
Thomas O’Neill, who has been on remand since January 12, was given a three-year sentence, but Judge Moran suspended only the final 18 months taking into account Mr O’Neill’s “very bad record”.
The sentence was backdated to the date of O’Neill’s remand and both men were bound to the peace for three years.