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'Google me' Loyalist acquitted of Geordie Gilmore murder admits threatening to burn farmer out of home

McMaw also threatened to poison the farmer's cattle in bizarre and disturbing threats

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Robert Darren McMaw

Robert Darren McMaw

Robert Darren McMaw

A loyalist thug acquitted of the UDA murder of Geordie Gilmore has admitted threatening a burn a farmer out of his home after telling him to “Google me”.

Standing in the dock of Antrim Crown Court on Thursday, two of the five charges against Robert Darren McMaw were put to him again following an application by defence QC Gavan Duffy who said that “further discussions... has culminated in a basis of a guilty plea.”

McMaw also threatened to poison the farmer’s cattle during a series of bizarre and disturbing threats.

The 36-year-old, from Portlee Walk in Antrim, entered guilty pleas to counts two and three relating to two offences of making threats to damage property on August 19 and 27 last year in that he threatened the farmer he would “burn everything in his yard”.

Three further charges accusing the UDA murder suspect of blackmail, common assault and a further charge of threatening to damage property were left on the books by prosecuting counsel Suzanne Gallagher who told the court there was “essentially acceptance of all the threats that were made on both dates”.

None of the facts of the case was opened during the brief hearing on Thursday but when McMaw was first charged last August, a police officer described how the offences related to a “number of incidents,” the first on August 19 when a car stopped outside the complainant’s yard and McMaw claimed he had damaged his car and it would cost £1,000 to fix.

“The injured party said he had no idea what he was talking about and the man replied ‘do you know who I am? I’m Darren McMaw – Google it and you will find me’,” said the officer.

The cop revealed that McMaw “was a suspect in the South East Antrim UDA murder of George Gilmore – he has been acquitted of that” but he added that “we say that’s why he told him to Google his name”.

McMaw threatened that if the money wasn’t paid, “I will burn everything you own in this yard, I will wreck and smash everything if you don’t give me the money”.

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Geordie Gilmore who was shot dead in 2017

Geordie Gilmore who was shot dead in 2017

Geordie Gilmore who was shot dead in 2017

There was a further incident a week later when McMaw went back to the complainant’s property and demanded £1,000 “or there will be trouble” and as a result of that, the victim installed a CCTV camera at his yard.

The last exchange, however, was recorded by the victim on his mobile phone when McMaw “squared up” to him as if to punch him and threatened that he would “poison his cattle and told him he would bring him to his knees” if the damage to his car wasn’t paid for.

McMaw was arrested when the farmer contacted police and during interviews, he admitted being at the yard but denied making any threats.

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McMaw stood trial for the murder of former UDA man Geordie Gilmore in May 2019. He was one of three men acquitted by a judge following the no-jury trial.

Gilmore was shot on March 13, 2017, as he drove along Pinewood Avenue in Carrickfergus in his white Vauxhall Insignia car and the 44-year-old died in hospital the following day from a “catastrophic brain injury as a result of a bullet wound”.

Following McMaw’s confessions on Thursday, Judge Patricia Smyth adjoined passing sentencing pending the completion of a pre-sentence probation report and freeing McMaw on bail, scheduled the plea and sentence hearing on November 16.

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