Shooting witness was threatened into changing statement, court told

A heavy police presence remains the the Elms Road area of Red Lodge after a shooting on Sunday 4th A

Police on the scene of the shooting in the Elms Road area of Red Lodge ten days before Bernard McDonagh senior was allegedly threatened. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A man who witnessed a shooting at a Suffolk travellers site had a gun held to his head and was told that if he didn’t change his statement to police he and his six sons would be shot, it has been alleged.

Bernard McDonagh senior was in his caravan at the Red Lodge travellers site ten days after the shooting at around midnight when three men wearing balaclavas allegedly burst in, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

One of the men was holding a small black pistol which was allegedly held to his head while one of the other men held up a mobile phone so that he could see it, said Duncan O’Donnell, prosecuting.

“On screen on a video call was the defendant Christopher Mongan. He said that if Bernard McDonagh didn’t drop the charges he and his six sons would all get shot. Given what had been done already Bernard McDonagh and his family were fearful that this would happen,” said Mr O’Donnell.

Christopher Mongan, of Wilslow Road, Milton Keynes, has denied an offence of intimidation dating back to April 2021.

The court heard that on April 4 last year there was a serious incident of violent disorder at the Red Lodge site during which at least eight people turned up in a Ford Mondeo and a seven-seater Opel Zafira.

Among that group were David and Bernard Mongan and their cousin Jim Mongan.

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All of the group were armed in some way and there was at least one firearm. During the incident two teenagers were shot and wounded, said Mr O’Donnell.

Within an hour of the attack Bernard McDonagh senior, his wife Theresa and their son Bernard junior identified David, Bernard and Jim Mongan to police as being part of the group.

However, six weeks later Bernard McDonagh and members of his family went to Bury St Edmunds police station and said the identifications they’d made were mistaken.

They later provided statements saying they no longer supported the prosecution and didn’t want to attend court but despite this, the case against David, Jim and Bernard Mongan continued, said Mr O’Donnell.

In September last year, Bernard McDonagh and other members of his family went back to the police and reported that they had been threatened by Christopher Mongan and he was arrested a few weeks later.

The court heard that on October 25 last year David, Jim and Bernard Mongan pleaded guilty to violent disorder at Red Lodge on April 4.

Christopher Mongan’s trial continues.