A man who who blew off half of his own hands with a pipe bomb has been given a nine year sentence.
Judge Patrick Lynch KC told Ryan Treanor (26) at Craigavon Crown Court that while he had been described as “an errand boy” this was a “euphemism that doesn’t sit well with the gravity of the offence”.
As he ordered Treanor to serve half his sentence in jail and half on licence, the judge said he accepted the defendant was “acting on instructions of other more sinister people”.
“Clearly this was an internecine feud between criminal elements in the Craigavon area,” said Judge Lynch, adding that the attack was “particularly reprehensible” given the lady whose home was targeted was merely the mother of one of those criminal elements.
At an earlier hearing Treanor, from Victoria Gardens in Lurgan, had entered a guilty plea to one count of possessing an explosive substance on December 1st, 2020 with intent to endanger life.
Prosecuting counsel Robin Steer told the court last Friday that several residents in the Enniskeen “heard a loud bang” at around 9.30pm that day.
The resident of the property targeted, who was at home with her grandchildren, is the mother of a career criminal who has been the subject of other bomb attacks and an attempted assassination but the court also heard he does not live at the property in question. Treanor’s attack was the third on the property.
When the woman looked out through the curtains she saw a man in dark clothing with badly injured hands. She said the man “was focused on his hands and he was shouting for an ambulance”.
Police arrived at the scene and Treanor told them “he had lifted something plastic and it exploded”, the court heard, but the officer also noticed the “partial remains of a latex glove stuck to his wrist”.
Mr Steer said crime scene investigators found other parts of “blood stained gloves” and a blood stained lighter which had been blown several feet away. Treanor’s DNA was found on these items.
An ammunition technical officer was called to the scene and between the partially exploded pipe bomb and the wounds to Treanor’s hands and chest, he said the scene was “consistent with someone holding the bomb when it exploded”.
Treanor refused to answer police questions when he was arrested and interviewed after being taken to hospital.
Judge Lynch said it was clear the device “detonated immediately” after Treanor lit the fuse and while it did not explode fully, it did so enough to blow off the end caps on the bomb.
Treanor, said the judge, has “professed total amnesia” about events leading up to the incident which left him with “life changing but not life threatening injuries”.
However, he said would approach that claim with “extreme scepticism” because the alleged amnesia “ensures that he doesn’t name the others involved or to give out any information that may identify them or their associates”.
Handing down the nine year sentence, Judge Lynch told Treanor that if he had taken the case to trial he would have faced 12 years.