Search

Jail for gypsy who turned gun on boxer after fight between women travellers turned nasty

PUBLISHED: 16:18 23 May 2014 | UPDATED: 13:05 27 May 2014

Francis O'Donoghue

Francis O'Donoghue

Archant

A traveller who shot a former Team GB boxer and his brother during a row between two warring families was jailed for more than 16 years today.

Martin Ward. Picture: Lawrence Lustig Martin Ward. Picture: Lawrence Lustig

Francis O’Donoghue, 27, blasted Martin Ward in the chest during a heated confrontation on a travellers’ site in Brentwood in August.

He also shot Mr Ward’s brother John in the thigh as he tried to break up a scrap between his sister, Roseanne, and O’Donoghue’s wife.

After wounding the brothers, O’Donoghue turned the gun on to their relatives, shouting “I will do you all in”, Woolwich Crown Court heard

The shooting followed a spat between O’Donoghue’s 25-year-old wife Theresa and a 15-year-old girl from the Ward family.

Prosecutor Tony Prosser said O’Donoghue encouraged the pair to end their dispute over a fight, as is the tradition of the travelling community.

He said: “As the girl was only 15 it was thought that another member of the Ward family, Roseanne, should take her place.

“However, Roseanne said she wasn’t keen as he had recently had a baby in caesarean section.

“While Roseanne was shopping in Harold Hill she was confronted by Theresa O’Donoghue.”

The court heard that a fight then broke out between the pair on Lizvale Farm, in Navestock.

O’Donoghue told his wife to “bite and eat” Ms Ward, before he was confronted by the Ward brothers.

O’Donghue left and returned with a pistol before shooting them.

He fled, resulting in a manhunt, and was finally tracked down on October 12.

O’Donoghue, of Russell Avenue, in Wood Green, pleaded guilty ahead of a trial for attempted murder to wounding.

Jailing O’Donoghue for 16-and-a-half years, Judge Andrew Lees said: “Your actions have clearly caused great upset in the community.”

He was cleared of two counts of attempted murder.

Read more:

Francis O’Donoghue pleads not guilty to attempted murder following shooting of former Team GB boxer Martin Ward

Francis O’Donoghue, 27, charged with attempted murder following shooting of former Team GB boxer Martin Ward

Two women arrested in Navestock farm attempted murder investigation

Latest Romford News Stories

20 minutes ago

Groups of travellers have set up camp across the borough so that they can attend a funeral in London.

12:00

Children in care and care leavers were invited to discuss future careers at the council’s first recruitment event.

The team behind the running of a Grade II listed building is appealing for more volunteers to get involved.

Havering Council is set to agree a 3.78pc increase in next year’s Council Tax rates at a meeting tonight (Wednesday, February 20).

Yesterday, 18:30

The London Fire Brigade was called to help cut two men out of their cars following a car accident in Romford earlier today (Tuesday, February 20).

Yesterday, 17:00

A Titanic enthusiastic that built a model of the ship, has loaned his creation to a museum as it is due to hold an exhibition on the British passenger liner.

Yesterday, 15:00

Growing up in a house where it is tradition to watch a horror film almost every Saturday night, I naturally have a love for all things dark and twisted.

Yesterday, 13:50

KFC has announced more store closures after delivery problems meant that it ran out of chicken.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now