Man jailed over Derry iron bar attack fails to overturn conviction

Lawyers for Michael Mongan (24) claim his identification during botched robbery flawed

A man jailed for an iron bar and pistol-butt attack on a family in their home has failed in an attempt to have his conviction overturned.

Michael Mongan’s lawyers claimed there were flaws in how a pensioner and her teenage grandson both identified him as having beaten them during a botched robbery in Co Derry.

But judges in the Court of Appeal rejected claims that their evidence impacted on the fairness of the trial process and should have been excluded.

Dismissing the challenge, Lord Justice Coghlin said: "We are not persuaded that this conviction was in any respect unsafe."


Mongan (24) received a 14-year prison sentence for assaults on Theresa Convery, Philip Convery - then aged 16 - and her son Martin Convery.

A jury at Derry Crown Court also found him guilty by a majority verdict of attempting to steal stg£10,000 and with driving while disqualified and without insurance.

The victims were attacked at their home on the Mayogall Road, Magherafelt in June 2012.

Two men had burst in armed with a gun and iron bar shouting: “Give us the money”. One of the intruders was said to have threatened to take 70-year-old Theresa Convery with him before hitting her on the hips, arms and legs with an iron bar.

Philip Convery tried to come to his grandmother’s rescue, only to be struck several times with the iron bar. He sustained a fractured skull and underwent emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from the surface of his brain.

His uncle Martin Convery also attempted to intervene and was hit both with the iron bar and with a firearm. He escaped and flagged down a passing motorist who alerted the police.

Mongan, formerly of White Rise in the Dunmurry area of Belfast, centred his attempt to overturn his convictions on how Viper identification procedures were handled.

His barrister argued that Theresa Convery’s evidence should only have been treated as a qualified identification of the defendant. Proper guidance should then have been given to the jury on the weight to attach to it.

Even if it was a qualified identification it supported and was consistent with a positive identification made by Philip Convery, the judge said.

He said: “We are of the opinion that even if the jury concluded that the evidence of Theresa Convery amounted to only a qualified identification, the absence of adequate directions in the particular circumstances would not have made any difference to the ultimate verdict.”

Mongan, who appeared via a prison video-link, is now expected to press ahead with an appeal against his 14-year sentence at a later date.