Feud between families led to petrol bomb attack

  • Published
Gloucester Crown CourtImage source, Google
Image caption,
Gloucester Crown Court heard that the incident on 20 February 2018 arose from a troubled background between the two families

Two sisters were seriously injured when a feud between families led to petrol bombs being thrown at a caravan site.

The attack in a Gloucestershire village left one of the sisters with a punctured lung and three broken ribs.

Barbara Rooney, 30, of The Ride, Plymouth, Felix Rooney, 34, of Gapton Hall Road, Great Yarmouth, and John Rooney, 23, of Laira Bridge, Plymouth, all admitted public disorder.

At Gloucester Crown Court each was given a 12-month community order.

Prosecutor Susan Cavender told the court the incident in Minsterworth arose from a troubled background between the two families.

On 19 February 2018 there were three separate incidents of violence on the site where sisters Eileen Connors, Theresa Cash and Josephine (Josie) Berry all lived, the court heard.

'You are dead tonight'

Ms Cavender said: "On 20 February, Theresa, Josie and Eileen were all together in Eileen's caravan with various children.

"They were receiving threatening phone calls from the Rooneys because of the incidents the day before.

"At 21:00 the sisters heard footsteps outside and then realised petrol bombs were being thrown at the caravan.

"Four bottles were later found at the scene by the police. Officers noticed a strong smell of petrol from them.

"Barbara Rooney was making warrior noises as she threw bottles.

"The victims heard shouts of 'You are dead tonight," Ms Cavender said.

She said that Ms Cash suffered three broken ribs and a punctured lung during the incident and Ms Berry suffered a deep cut to the chin and also an injury to her arm.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC said he had read a victim impact statement from Ms Cash in which the "sense of terror that she felt" was clear.

As well as the community orders, he sentenced all three Rooney siblings to 200 hours of unpaid work each. The two brothers were ordered to pay £500 costs each and Barbara £200.

Jessica Heggie, for John Rooney, said that at the time of the incident he had suffered a bereavement and was not managing his emotions well.

For Felix Rooney, Nick Worsley said his client has good employment laying driveways and Saftar Falam, for Barbara Rooney, said she had been suffering with mental health problems including depression and schizophrenia.

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