Judge warning | 

Man acquitted of UDA feud murder says he's too skint to pay for transport after court no-show

In February McMaw walked free after he admitted threatening to poison farmer’s cattle and to burn his home, telling him to “Google me”

Robert Darren McMaw

Murdered loyalist Geordie Gilmore

Sunday Life reporterSunday Life

A man previously acquitted of a UDA murder is too skint to get transport to court, a judge has been told.

Robert Darren McMaw was due to appear at Craigavon Magistrates on Wednesday to face a raft of driving offences.

But his solicitor revealed the 37-year-old had no money to make his way there.

And the judge issued a stern warning to McMaw, that if he was a no-show again, a warrant would be issued for his arrest.

McMaw faces a total of seven driving offences, all alleged to have been committed in August this year.

They include driving whilst unfit, without a licence or insurance and reporting an accident.

McMaw, from Craighill in Antrim, is no stranger to court.

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, telling him to “Google me.”

At that hearing the judge said she was suspending his nine-month jail term because of his ill health, which included 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 loyalist Geordie Gilmore.

Murdered loyalist Geordie 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.

The offences related to damage caused to McMaw’s car which had broken down close to the victim’s home back in August 2020.

The court was told McMaw believed the farmer was responsible and went to the premises “to seek compensation”.

The judge said while McMaw “maintains” the farmer agreed to pay for the damage, the victim denied this, and also denied causing the damage.

Judge Patricia Smyth said what was not in dispute, was the nature of the threats against the victim.

McMaw told the farmer that if he didn’t pay for his car’s repair, “I will burn everything in this yard, wreck and smash everything if I don’t get this money.”

It was also accepted that McMaw told his victim, “Do you know who I am? I’m Darren McMaw — Google it and you will find me.” This was, the judge said, a reference “to the defendant’s involvement in a high profile case.”

This latest case involving driving charges has been adjourned until later this month.

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