neighbour from hell | 

Face of man who harassed and threatened to kill his vulnerable ‘disabled’ neighbour

The prosecutor said the complainant said Gilhooly had threatened to kill him and called him a “sp*stic” and an “English b*stard” and he was in fear of the defendant entering his home.

Anthony Gilhooly speak to the Sunday World. Pic Pacemaker

Anthony Gilhooley speak to the Sunday World. Pic Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 07/07/22 Anthony Gilhooley speak to the Sunday World. Pic Pacemaker

Paula MackinSunday World

Meet the Co Antrim man who has been convicted of harassing and threatening to kill his ‘vulnerable’ neighbour with learning difficulties.

Last week Gilhooly (47) was sentenced at Antrim Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Ballymena, after previously pleading guilty to charges of harassment, making a threat to kill and being disorderly in relation to various days in 2021.

However, when confronted by Sunday World he wrongly tried to claim there was two sides to the story - despite his own admissions of guilt in court and the fact the judge slammed Gilhooly’s actions.

“He (the victim) is a f**king bastard, print what you want love, I don’t give a f**k but all I am saying is that he’s not as innocent as he wants people to think,” Anthony Gilhooly said.

“All of this is a load of shit, making that I am some kind of racist or something like that? No, that’s not true, I may have called him a few things but it was not a hate crime.

“I’m not saying anything more apart from there are two sides to this. Just do what you want, like I said I don’t give a f**k, just know he’s a bastard, ” he claimed.

There is nothing to back up the claims Gilhooly has made against his victim who was petrified he was going to be attacked or killed.

During the trial, a prosecutor said the victim told police that at 11.44pm on May 28 last year Gilhooly was shouting and swearing and banging on his front door.

The court heart the victim was a “vulnerable adult with learning difficulties”.

The prosecutor told the hearing that Gilhooly had threatened to assault him and to “kill” him while trying to enter the property.

Anthony Gilhooley speak to the Sunday World. Pic Pacemaker

The prosecutor said the complainant said Gilhooly had threatened to kill him and called him a “sp*stic” and an “English b*stard” and he was in fear of the defendant entering his home.

The complainant also reported harassment to police which the prosecutor said had been marked as a “disability hate crime”.

She revealed the victim had moved to his address in 2011 and the defendant “regularly” shouted abuse at him from his open window like ‘English, Bristolian, fat b*stard’ and called the complainant a ‘spastic’.”

District Judge Nigel Broderick asked if the hate crime was based on the complainant’s nationality and the prosecutor again made reference to it being marked as a “disability hate crime”.

The court heard the complainant said on two or three occasions in the previous six months Gilhooly shouted at him in the middle of the night to “come outside” and banged on windows and on one occasion when he was bringing a bin in the defendant said he would “kill” him.

The complainant also said Gilhooly had once told him: “I’m going to set fire to your flat”.

The prosecutor said the complainant said he had “done nothing to provoke this behaviour and he believed it was because he had learning difficulties”.

A defence barrister said initially Gilhooly had been bailed to live outside Antrim but it was then varied to allow him to return home but since going back he was off alcohol and there had been “no difficulty” with the complainant.

He said Gilhooly accepts his behaviour had been “wrong”.

The Sunday World can reveal Gilhooly has a previous conviction for threatening to burn a car belonging to another neighbour which was “marked as a hate crime because of race” in July, 2018.

The defence lawyer said Gilhooly’s offending had been linked to being “heavily intoxicated” but he is now getting assistance from Community Addictions and Community Mental Health.

Jailing the defendant, Judge Broderick said it had been “despicable, totally reprehensible, behaviour” for a “vulnerable” man with “learning difficulties” to be “tortured in this way” commenting that this was not the first time Gilhooly had been involved in similar offences.

Regarding the offences last year the judge said: “You torture your neighbour who is disabled and I am satisfied the offence is aggravated by virtue of a hate crime. You make this man’s life a misery and then you plead not guilty and then at the last minute you enter a plea of guilty”.

The judge said “alcoholism was just a convenient excuse” as “lots of people struggle with alcohol but they don’t threaten to kill their neighbours and pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment”.

As well as a five months jail term, a two year Restraining Order was put in place.

Bail in the sum of £500 was fixed for appeal of the sentence.

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