Man who threatened to cut ex-partner’s head off should ‘never be freed’

‘He’s a complete lunatic and I’ve no doubt that he’ll kill if he ever gets out of Maghaberry’

Stephen Moore

Paul HigginsSunday World

A Co. Antrim thug who threatened to cut his ex’s head off in front of his terrified children should never be freed from prison “because he will always be dangerous.”

A local source who has known Stephen Moore for years says “there’s absolutely no way he should ever be freed - he’s a complete lunatic and I’ve no doubt that he’ll kill if he ever gets out of Maghaberry.”

Last month the 39-year-old was handed an indeterminate sentence with a minimum tariff of six years for a catalogue of offences arising from an aggravated burglary at the home of his ex-partner in the early hours of 17 July 2021.

Akin to a life sentence, it means that in six years time Moore can apply to the Parole Commissioners to be freed on licence and it’s up to them to assess whether it’s safe to release him and under what conditions.

Their test is whether Moore still poses a risk and for the anonymous source, “he will always pose a danger, especially to that poor woman so he should be left to rot in jail.”

“At least that way we’d all be safe,” says the source.

Moore, originally from the Ballymena area but with an address c/o Maghaberry, used Facebook to live stream the terrifying incident after he smashed his way into the home of his ex and their two young daughters.

She had been deemed such high risk that the PSNI had fortified her home and had installed a panic alarm but despite that Moore, armed with a large black handled knife, still managed to force entry by using a garden bench to smash a downstairs window.

In the almost five minute long video, Moore records himself lying back in a bed, having a shouting conversation with police negotiators who are outside the property, giving them a countdown as they plead for him to come to the window.

“Listen lad listen, if I go to the window I’ll get plugged. I’m sitting here with my daughter on my knee.

I’ve told you, 20 minutes, do what I say or i’m going to cut her head off.

I will do it. Trust me. Don’t f****** tempt me,” he tells the cops.

“How will that impact your kids,” the constable can be heard asking but Moore tells him “listen, I ain’t gonna be here after it.”

“You may be gone but your kids will have to live with it forever. Stephen can you please come to the window and have a conversation?”

Moore: “Aye come to to the window and someone snipe me? F*** clean aff. 22 minutes!”

Police: “Stephen will you just talk to me?”

Moore: “I’ve talked to you all day and you haven’t done what I’ve asked you. 21 minutes. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.”

Turning the camera to show his petrified ex cuddling her two little girls into her, her arms around them as she pleads with Moore to stop, the girls begin to scream hysterically as Moore barricades the door.

“Stay with mummy, stay with mummy, stay with mummy, please stop it, please stop it, just stop, just stop it please,” she pleads with Moore as the kids continue to scream.

Officers outside can be heard screaming at Moore to “come to the window COME TO THE WINDOW NOW” but despite his claims that “it’s ok, I’m not doing nothing,” there’s a telltale rumble of heavy footsteps coming up the stairs, a splintering of wood and barked orders to Moore to “PUT YOUR HANDS AGAINST THE WINDOW NOW!”


“Everybody take a breath, Stephen fella calm down, calm down.”

“I wasn’t doing nothing. I wouldn’t hurt my kids, I love my kids. Have you a feg, giesa feg.”

When he appeared at Antrim Crown Court Moore, whose address was given as c/o Maghaberry, entered guilty pleas to a litany of offences including aggravated burglary with intent to inflict GBH, three counts of false imprisonment, making a threat to kill, possessing a weapon, assault, criminal damage, robbery and hijacking.

The court heard that Moore had only been freed from prison 48 hours beforehand and although it’s not recorded on the chilling video which he live-streamed, he threatened to “throw her head” to the police outside.

Prosecuting counsel Michael Chambers outlined that at around 4am, Moore took a taxi to his ex’s home and the driver was later to report to cops the journey was uneventful until they arrived at the property and Moore produced a 7” knife and told him: “I need the car, I’m going to go in and do her in and then I’m going to take the car and do myself in”.

Cops received the first 999 call at 04.15, from Moore’s ex, who told police she had barricaded herself and her two daughters into a bedroom with Moore smashing his way into the property and neighbours also reported the male intruder was armed with a knife.

Having smashed his way in, Moore “punched the victim several times” to the face and head, “made numerous threats to kill her and decapitate her and said he would live stream it,” said Mr Chambers.

At one stage, he ordered the victim “to put the children out of the room so he could kill her.”

“All this was said and done in front of her two children aged 5 years and 4 years. Mr Moore told his children that he was going to kill himself and that their mother was to blame,” said Mr Chambers.

Police officers negotiated with Moore for two hours but when there was “hysterical screaming” coming from the bedroom, fearing for the safety of the victim and her children, Armed Response Officers forced their way in and disarmed Moore who was then taken into custody.

Charged and cautioned, Moore told the officer “f*** away off you ballbag” and also threatened that “whenever I get out I am going to do it again.”

During interviews, Moore “stated that he would be saying nothing and that he was going to sleep and he then leaned over onto his arms on the table,” said the barrister who revealed that according to the probation report, Moore has been assessed as a dangerous offender likely to cause serious harm by committing further violent offences.

Mr Chambers said given the details and Moore’s background, “the Court may consider this to be one of the rare cases where the only appropriate sentence is an ICS.”

“It is difficult to imagine a more serious example than a defendant armed with a knife repeatedly promising to kill his victim while locked in a room with them,” the barrister submitted, adding that the Crown view was that all previous disposals had failed to stop him offending.

“Further, he has shown no remorse and in fact repeated threats to kill the victim once he is released,” he told the court.

The danger that Moore poses is easily highlighted by the fact that four weeks after he was first charged with the shocking aggravated burglary, he launched a devastating jailhouse attack on alleged child killer Darren Armstrong, leaving him suffering from a broken jaw.

While the incident lasted all of 30 seconds, Moore was captured on cctv punching Armstrong to the ground and then repeatedly stamping on his head, continuing to lash out even when three prison officers are dragging him away from his stricken and unconscious victim.

In that case, Moore was branded as dangerous and handed a five year extended custodial sentence but when he came before Judge Roseanne McCormick KC last month, she went one step further and handed the thug an indeterminate sentence.

Only a handful of ICS’s have been handed down in NI since they came into force under 2008 legislation but Judge McCormick explained that “this is a case where the defendant not only terrorised the victim but also the children….and lest there be any doubt as to how he viewed his offences, he told a police constable that when he got out he would do it again.”

Because of the actions of their allegedly loving father, his daughters, who were just four and five-years-old at the time, were “woken in the dead of night,” their terrified mother trying to barricade them into a room, police arriving, “their blue lights illuminating the night sky” and witnessing first hand the terrifying, shouted exchanges between their parents while their father had a knife.

Judge McCormick said she had concluded that Moore “poses a real risk,” but especially to former partners and to women generally and that the answer to address that risk was the imposition of an ICS.

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