Gulity: Four men convicted of New Year’s Day stabbings

Clockwise from top left: Patrick, Charlie, John, Bernard.

One man has been found guilty of attempted murder and three others convicted of grievous bodily harm after three men and a woman were stabbed.

The incident happened at about 4.30am on January 1, 2020, when a group of males entered a caravan site in Gypsy Lane, Irchester, and attacked the occupants of two caravans with knives, machetes and billhooks.

Leaving their victims seriously injured, they then smashed up a number of cars on the plot before making their getaway.

An investigation by Northamptonshire Police revealed the attack took place after one of the victims had intervened to stop the assault of a member of the public in Wellingborough in the early hours of that New Year’s Day, and resulted in six people being charged with a number of offences.

The resulting trial at Northampton Crown Court heard that Patrick McDonagh, aged 37, had attacked a stranger while he and a number of relatives were celebrating New Year’s Eve with another group, one of whom stepped in to defend the victim.

The two groups then went their separate ways, before a series of phone calls led to Patrick McDonagh, John McDonagh, aged 38, Bernard McDonagh, aged 20, and Charlie McDonagh, aged 21, driving to the Irchester site and attacking the man who defended the assault victim, two other men and one woman.

Last Friday, March 19, the jurors in the trial returned guilty verdicts against the four men.

Patrick McDonagh, of Crabb Street, Rushden, was convicted of the attempted murder of one of the men, two counts of grievous bodily harm with intent against the two other men, and possession of an offensive weapon.

John McDonagh and Bernard McDonagh, both of Whitegate Stables, Leicestershire, and Charlie McDonagh, of Bescot Croft, Birmingham, were all convicted of three counts of grievous bodily harm with intent against the three male victims, and one count of possession of an offensive weapon.

Speaking after the guilty verdicts, Detective Sergeant Ryan Catling, of Northamptonshire Police CID, said: “This has been an exceptionally long and complex case to investigate which has involved the gathering and review of thousands of pieces of evidence.

“On the night of January 1, 2020, these defendants showed a complete disregard for life and inflicted some horrific injuries on their victims, who will be dealing with the after-effects of this savage attack for the rest of their lives.

“The court process has also been challenging so I am absolutely delighted that all the hard work has paid off with these four convictions. I’d like to thank the court and the jury for seeing this trial through in the difficult conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We do not tolerate violence of any sort in Northamptonshire and I hope this case shows our determination to pursue violent offenders and do everything we can to bring them to justice.”

The four defendants were all remanded into custody ahead of their sentencing hearing, which will take place on a date yet to be set.

  • A 24-year-old man charged in connection with the incident was found not guilty of attempted murder, four counts of grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of an offensive weapon.
  • A 17-year-old boy was also cleared of four charges of grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of an offensive weapon.

A further man, Edward McDonagh, aged 60, of Hinkley Road Caravan Park, Leicester, was charged with witness intimidation on April 2, 2020 and was dealt with at court in September – he pleaded guilty to witness intimidation to one of the victims of the attack and was sentenced to two years in prison.