Stevenage attacker jailed for seven years but cleared of attempted murder alongside co-defendant

PUBLISHED: 16:42 03 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:48 08 November 2017

Roy O'Donoghue was jailed for seven years for wounding with intent. Picture: Herts Police

Roy O'Donoghue was jailed for seven years for wounding with intent. Picture: Herts Police

Archant

Two Stevenage men have been cleared of attempted murder, but one of them has been jailed after being found guilty of wounding with intent.

Pearce John McGinnity, of Abbey Grove in Sandy, and Roy ODonoghue, of Ditchmore Lane in Stevenage, have both been cleared of attempted murder, but the latter was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court to seven years in prison for wounding with intent. Pearce John McGinnity, of Abbey Grove in Sandy, and Roy ODonoghue, of Ditchmore Lane in Stevenage, have both been cleared of attempted murder, but the latter was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court to seven years in prison for wounding with intent.

Pearce John McGinnity, 26, of Abbey Grove in Sandy, and Roy O’Donoghue, 36, of Ditchmore Lane in Stevenage, had both denied attempting to murder Jay Williams after they were alleged to have entered a property in Stevenage’s Spencer Way armed with a knife and bottle.

They both also denied charges of aggravated burglary, wounding with intent and wounding causing grievous bodily harm.

A jury at St Albans Crown Court today found them not guilty of all the charges apart from the wounding with intent, for which O’Donoghue was convicted.

The court previously heard Mr Williams was hit with a bottle and stabbed repeatedly in the attack on April 9.

He received medical treatment in the street before being taken to hospital to be treated for six lacerations.

CCTV footage shown to the court showed Mr Williams calling at a neighbouring address for help and members of the public staying with him until paramedics arrived.

During the trial the jury heard that Mr McGinnity had previously lived at a woman’s flat in Spencer Way.

After drinking beers with his co-defendant and another man at his flat in Harrow Court, he decided to collect his belongings from the flat that night.

Mr McGinnity said when he arrived at the flat in Spencer Way the woman started shouting at him, and that he said he took his two bags of stuff and left.

He told police that his co-defendant O’Donoghue – who he called Paddy – then ran past him.

“I heard a bottle smash and two lots of screaming,” he said.

O’Donoghue told police blood on his jeans was caused by him falling off his bike at the rear of Stevenage’s Pets at Home store.

He said that after the bike fall he had “gone in and out of consciousness”, saying his head had been “all over the place”.

He said he knew Mr McGinnity as they were both Celtic football fans, but that he said he did not know Mr Williams and knew nothing about the attack carried out on him.

He said he had just been drinking all day on the Saturday.

Following the verdict, Judge Catterson sentenced O’Donoghue to seven years in jail for wounding with intent.

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