Published Thursday, 09 January 2014
Philip Convery was left fighting for his life in hospital. (© Country Photography)
Michael Mongan, 23, and from White Rise in the Dunmurry area of Belfast, was last year convicted of assaulting Theresa Convery, her son Martin Convery who is a 45-year-old bank manager, and her 16-year-old grandson Philip Convery in their family home at Mayogall Road in Magherafelt.
A jury also found him guilty by 10-2 majority verdicts of attempting to steal £10,000 and with driving while disqualified and without insurance.
All the incidents occurred on the evening of 5 June, 2012.
Mongan was one of two men who burst into the family home armed with a gun and iron bar who shouted at the Converys "give us the money".
He threatened to take 70-year-old Theresa Convery with him before hitting her on the hips, arms and legs with an iron bar.
Philip attempted to come to his grandmother's rescue, but Mongan struck the schoolboy several times on the body and head with the iron bar.
The teenager, who had been revising for his GCSE examinations at the time of the attack, sustained a fractured skull and had to have emergency surgery in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast to remove a large blood clot from the surface of his brain.
He remained in hospital for a further eleven days.
His uncle Martin also tried to intervene and was hit both with the iron bar and with a firearm, sustaining bruising to his arms, back and legs. He then escaped and managed to flag down a passing motorist who alerted the police.
Mongan was picked out by Theresa and Philip Convery at an identification procedure following his arrest. At the time, he had 76 previous criminal convictions.
A victim impact report in relation to Theresa Convery stated at the time she had to use an aid to get about her family home of fifty years. She has been left with scars on her left leg and with a prolonged adjustment disorder of anxiety type and she now feels frightened and vulnerable in her home.
A similar report in relation to Philip stated at the time of the attack he was performing well at school but he has now fallen behind his peers.
He also played Gaelic games, but now has been advised not to participate by his medical advisors. He has developed post-traumatic stress disorder and finds life quite difficult because he tires much more easily because of the injuries he sustained.
He is receiving counselling and will have to receive further counselling in the future.
A victim impact report in relation to Martin Convery said he suffered from a short term adjustment disorder following the assault, but has not had to receive any further treatment.
Jailing Mongan for 14 years, Judge Philip Babington said he had used wanton violence to attack a vulnerable family in their isolated rural home.
He said there were significant injuries sustained by both Philip Convery and by his grandmother, who suffered multiple bruises to the lower half of her body and to one of her arms.
"This was an incident that came out of the blue for the Convery family members on the summer evening in question," said Judge Babington.
"They were in Mrs Convery's home when the defendant and his accomplice barged in and inflicted wanton and unprovoked violence on them for no reason other than to obtain money which they believed was being kept on the premises. It was a cowardly act carried out in a thuggish way and no mercy was shown to Mrs Convery and her grandson in particular", he added.
Judge Babington said because he believed Mongan still presented a significant risk of committing further offences, the sentence would be an extended custodial one for five years after his prison release.
"I consider that this period of five years is necessary for protecting members of the public from serious harm and I trust that the Minister for Justice will impose conditions including a requirement to live at an address approved by your supervising probation officer, to be subject to electronic monitoring and curfew arrangements and to engage in such treatment programmes as is deemed necessary by your supervising probation officer", he told Mongan before adding "take him away".
© UTV News