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Former Tipperary Native Jailed For 4 years Following Threats To Kill.

A former Tipperary native and homeless man, who tried to choke his girlfriend after she refused to eat a meal, which he had cooked for her, has been jailed for four years, with the final 12 months suspended to encourage his rehabilitation.

The former homeless man, named as Mr Stephen Coveney-Ryan, attacked Ms Roisin MacNeilis, after she had invited him into her home, following the pair having met on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, 2021, at Dublin’s BusÁras bus station, just weeks earlier. Following their first meeting, the couple had communicated, keeping in contact by text messaging.

Mr Coveney-Ryan threatened to kill Ms MacNeilis and other family members, on July 10th 2021, and to inter them in a shallow grave, following his explosive fit of rage at her home.

Mr Coveney-Ryan, aged 26 years, appeared before Letterkenny Circuit Court in Co Donegal, where he admitted threatening to kill Ms MacNeilis, while also assaulting her and threatening her with a fishing knife.

Ms MacNeilis had invited him to stay with her at her home in Donegal town and they then began a relationship.

The court was told that the accused had made dinner but Ms MacNeilis said she was not hungry and decided to eat a bowl of cereal instead.

Ms MacNeilis, who was eight weeks pregnant at the time was continuously choked and abused, until she finally managed to escape by jumping out of a window.

She drove to the woods around Harvey’s Point near Donegal town, before receiving messages and calls threatening to chop her up and feed her to pigs, adding that he would also kill her parents and put them into the boot of the car and bury them in a shallow grave.

She later informed her parents about the ordeal two days later, before contacting Gardaí to make a statement.

Mr Coveney-Ryan, with an address at O’Clerigh Avenue, Donegal town, but originally from Co Tipperary, was arrested and taken to Ballyshannon Garda station.

The court was informed that Mr Coveney-Ryan had a number of previous charges for various incidents including burglary, theft, intoxication, breach of a barring order, possession of drugs and using threatening and abusive language.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice John Aylmer said that such offences, merited a sentence of five years in prison.
The Judge took into account Mr Coveney-Ryan’s plea of guilty and apparent genuine remorse; noting he had undertaken a number of courses, while remaining in custody.
He therefore reduced the five year sentence to four years, suspending the final 12 months and also backdating same to when Mr Coveney-Ryan was initially taken into custody.
He was also ordered to abstain from alcohol and drugs and to comply with the prison resettlement programme.

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