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Thug threatened a stranger with hammer outside city centre bar

Thug threatened a stranger with hammer outside city centre bar

by Danielle Thompson (September 2021)

AN aggressive man from Southport, armed with a claw hammer, repeatedly threatened to attack a stranger in Liverpool city centre.

Martin Breen, 32, approached Shannon Gaynor on five occasions on two separate days and also threatened a rail worker at Moorfields Station on an earlier occasion, threatening violence.

 Breen, who was identified from CCTV footage, has a previous conviction for possessing a bladed article and turned up at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday, September 7  with a large holdall anticipating an immediate jail sentence.

However, after hearing from his barrister Brendan Carville that he had been the victim of a serious assault last December - before the incidents involving Mr Gaynor - which may have exacerbated his epilepsy and affected his behaviour sentence was adjourned until next month.

Judge Neil Flewitt, QC, told Breen, “I am making you no promises but I’m going give Mr Carville an opportunity to get some medical evidence to see whether it establishes what happened the week before Christmas contributed to the way you behaved on these occasions to such an extent that it reduces your culpability and makes you less blameworthy.”

He said that it might allow Mr Carville to argue for a suspended prison sentence to be imposed even though he already has a six month suspended sentence, imposed in September 2019 for burglary, hanging over him at the time the offences.

Judge Flewitt further remanded him on bail.

Martyn Walsh, prosecuting, told the court that the first incident happened on December 4 last year when Breen got off a train at Moorfields and he put his ticket in the face of train worker who asked to check it. He then forced his way through the barriers and made threats.

On the afternoon of April 13 this year , Mr Gaynor was in the Mathew Street area when Breen started calling him “an undercover-cop” trying to antagonise him. Breen threatened he was “going to cut him” before leaving the area.

Six days later Mr Gaynor was outside McCooleys bar in Mathew Street when Breen approached him aggressively.

Breen walked off but came back five minutes later, produced a claw hammer from his waistband.  

He ran off but returned a few minutes later for the third time and threatened to stab him “off camera” and saying he had a knife. Mr Gaynor tried to appease him and after Breen left the police were called and Breen was located and arrested.

Breen, of Park Street, Southport, pleaded guilty to common assault, two offences of threatening behaviour and possessing an offensive weapon.

Mr Carville said that Breen had had a bad epileptic fit on Saturday and had spent two days in hospital after being found unconscious in Victoria Street. He is due for a MRI scan on September 21.



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