Family locked up for total of 52 years over attempted murder on New Year's Day in Irchester

'On their arrival, the four men began smashing the vehicles and caravans of their targets. The victims woke up to the sound of smashing glass and threats to kill'

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 11:15 am

A man who rounded up members of his family to carry out a brutal attack on a relative on New Year's Day has been locked up for 22 years for attempted murder.

Patrick McDonagh, 40, of Crabb Street, Rushden, led three of his brothers as they carried machetes, knives and billhooks onto the caravan site on Gypsy Lane, Irchester, on January 1, 2020.

On their arrival, the four men began smashing the vehicles and caravans of their targets. The victims woke up to the sound of smashing glass and threats to kill.

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Patrick McDonagh (L) led his family members in a brutal attack on the occupants of two caravans.

In the savage incident, the four men broke into their victims' two caravans before inflicting serious injuries on three people as members of the family left out of the fray watched in terror.

"As I was being attacked I lay there wondering if my life was ending," wrote one of the victims in an impact statement, who suffered a 25cm cut across the width of his neck.

"I still remember the voices of that night. The sounds of breaking glass, the cries of women, the sound of my brother and parents being attacked.

"I was so scared, unaware if my family had been killed. This will haunt me forever."

Patrick McDonagh was jailed for 22 years for calling up his family and leading them on a drunken rage-fueled attack on his relatives.

Today at Northampton Crown Court (May 18), Patrick McDonagh - who was heard repeatedly saying his victims were "dead" in the run-up to the attack - was jailed for 22 years for attempted murder, while his three brothers were given 30 years in total for GBH.

The court heard how the victims were relatives of the McDonagh family.

The trouble sprang from earlier in the night when one of their victims had intervened to stop an assault on a stranger while the two groups had been out together celebrating the new year.

A disagreement and a fist fight flared up.

John McDonagh was sentenced for 13 and a half years. The judge said it was "doubtless" he exerted influence on his younger brothers to take part.

In sentencing, His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo said: "Patrick McDonagh summoned family members from Leicestershire and the West Midlands.

"John and his brother Bernard McDonagh travelled from a site at Markfield whilst a fourth brother Charlie was brought down from Erdington or thereabouts.

"By the time [the defendants] left for Irchester, each of the defendants was armed with at least one weapon apiece."

The injuries seen across the attack included a skull fracture, dozens of stab wounds, and a slash to one man's knee that severed five tendons.

Bernard McDonagh was 19 during the attack. He was sentenced to eight years in a young offenders institute.

The attackers came and went within 10 minutes.

One of the two cars used by the McDonaghs was later found torched near to the Markfield site.

During the trial, the four defendants refused to give evidence and all claimed they were innocent by way of alibi, mistaken identity, or the victims were all lying.

"I reject this," said the Judge. "I have no doubt that it was [Patrick McDonagh] who orchestrated the event from its inception... He alone amongst the attackers at the site harboured an intention to kill.

"This was not provocation. This was a swelling, unjustified and totally uncontrolled rage against [his own family]."

John McDonagh, of Whitegate Stables, Leicestershire, was sentenced to 13 years and six months.

Charlie McDonagh, jailed for nine years.

Bernard McDonagh, also of Whitegate Stables, Leicestershire, received a sentence of eight years.

Charlie McDonagh, of Bescot Croft, Birmingham, was jailed for nine years.

The four men went on trial between January and March this year following an extensive investigation by Northamptonshire Police.

Speaking after the hearing, Detective Sergeant Ryan Catling, of Northamptonshire Police CID, said: “Today’s sentence is a welcome conclusion to a violent and terrifying incident which left the victims seriously injured, and has changed their lives forever.

“On the morning of January 1, 2020, in a totally disproportionate response to an earlier confrontation in Wellingborough, these four men launched a savage attack on their victims in their own homes, creating a scene of such bloodshed that it is incredible no-one was killed.

“From the outset this was a complex and challenging case to investigate, and on behalf of the victims and the officers involved, I am very pleased that those responsible have been convicted and will now spend a significant amount of time in prison, rightly deprived of their liberty.

“I would like to pay tribute to the victims in this case, who have shown quiet bravery and have all had to contend with serious physical injuries and significant mental trauma as a result of what happened to them, as well as receiving threats and intimidation for having the courage to give evidence to the police.

“The investigative team at Northamptonshire Police has also been second to none, their determination and attention to detail has ensured that these reckless men have been brought to account and I thank them all for their hard work on this case.

“There is no place for violence in our county, nor for those who believe they have the right to inflict their own punishment or harm on others. If you commit this kind of crime, we will come after you and make sure you face justice.”

Head of CID - Detective Superintendent Paul Rymarz, paid tribute to DS Catling and the investigation team following sentencing: “The work that has gone into this case has been absolutely exceptional and I am very proud of Ryan and the team who got this case over the finish line and have secured some incredible sentences as a result.

“Their hard work has sent a very clear message to anyone who thinks about committing violent crime in Northamptonshire in the future – we have a team of brilliant and meticulous detectives in this Force who will bring you to justice.”