A Co Armagh maths teacher is to stand trial accused of harassment, intimidation and making threats to kill after he denied the offences today (Wednesday).
Standing in the dock of Newry Crown Court in a navy suit and wearing a face mask, 40-year-old Patrick Hollywood entered not guilty pleas to each of the 19 charges against him.
Hollywood, from the Upper Fathom Road in Newry, and who was a teacher at St Patrick’s High School in Keady, faces seven charges of making a threat to kill, six of harassment, four of attempted intimidation and single counts of forgery and causing another person to fear that violence would be used against them.
All are alleged to have been committed between 31 December 2016 and 1 December 2018.
It is understood the charges follow an investigation into complaints of harassment and intimidation over incidents at St Patrick’s High School in Keady which was at the centre of allegations of English and Maths GCSE exam malpractice by teachers following some high marks achieved at the school.
According to the particulars of the forgery offence, Hollywood allegedly forged “a letter of dismissal, with the intention of using it to induce another person to accept it as genuine and, by reason of so accepting it, to do some act, or not to do some act, to his own or any other person’s prejudice”.
In relation to the attempted intimidation charges, Hollywood is accused of trying to use “force, threats or menaces” to cause a female complainant “to refrain from doing an act, namely, helping Patrick Hollywood pursue an appeal against sanctions imposed by the CCEA” while he allegedly tried to make another female complainant “reject the appeal submitted by Patrick Hollywood to the CCEA”.
One of the other intimidation allegations accuses Hollywood of trying to use “force, threats or menaces or in any way whatsoever to cause another person to refrain from…taking up the post of Principal of St Patrick’s High School, Keady”.
None of the facts surrounding the charges were opened in court today (Wednesday), but counsel for prosecution and defence told Judge Gordon Kerr QC that the trial, potentially to be heard in November, would take around a month.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter here.