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Man acquitted of UDA feud murder faces driving ban after conviction for road offences

Robert Darren McMaw, from Craighill in Antrim, is no stranger to the courts

Paul HigginsSunday Life

A man acquitted of a UDA murder is facing a driving ban after he was convicted of a raft of offences.

Robert Darren McMaw failed to show for his court hearing because of illness, but the judge went ahead with the case and said he was satisfied the defendant was guilty.

The 37-year-old was convicted of seven driving offences committed in August this year.

They include driving while unfit, without a licence or insurance, failing to stop and failing to report an accident.

When he was initially charged, McMaw claimed he did not “have the funds to get to court”.

But with the threat of a warrant being issued, he later appeared by video-link to confirm that he understood the charges against him.

At Craigavon Magistrates Court on Thursday, the judge ordered a pre-sentence report and adjourned the case for sentencing until January.

McMaw, from Craighill in Antrim, is no stranger to the courts. In October 2019, he was acquitted of the paramilitary feud murder of Geordie Gilmore in Carrickfergus two years earlier.

In February this year, he walked free with a suspended sentence after he admitted threatening to poison a farmer’s cattle and to burn him out of his home.

At that hearing, the judge said she was suspending his nine-month jail term because of health issues including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.

The court was told that McMaw’s mental health problems arose as a result of him being accused, and ultimately acquitted, of the murder of Gilmore.

But it was also said he had used his “notoriety” and involvement in that “very high-profile” case in an attempt to force the farmer to hand over £1,000.

McMaw previously pleaded guilty to making threats to damage property, telling his victim he would “burn everything in his yard”.

Three further charges, including blackmail and assault, were left on the books.

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