GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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May 17, 2013

Manchester man's sentence staves off deportation

MANCHESTER — A Manchester man charged with beating his wife and then threatening a police officer back on Christmas Day 2011 was given a sentence Thursday that a Salem District Court judge acknowledged was fashioned to let him avoid deportation to Ireland.

The most serious of the assault and battery charges against Paschal Corrigan, 52, formerly of 6 Smith Lane, were generally continued, and one of them filed without a sentence, so that Corrigan won’t face deportation — an arrangement that his estranged wife Margaret blasted yesterday during a victim-impact statement to the judge.

Margaret Corrigan complained that her husband, who filed for divorce weeks after his arrest, was manipulating the courts in order to remain in the United States.

She said she believes Paschal Corrigan should serve a year in jail. Instead, he will be on three years of supervised probation.

“This is, quite frankly, a very unusual case,” said Judge Michael Lauranzano during the hearing Thursday afternoon. “This is a disposition that under most circumstances I would never accept.”

But it was the circumstances that the Corrigans and their children now find themselves in that moved the judge to grant general continuances on the two most serious charges pending against Paschal.

The problem, suggested the judge, was the possibility that Margaret Corrigan could be sentenced to prison in her own pending fraud case in federal court.

“The biggest concern (of both the prosecutor and the defense attorney) was with the two children,” said the judge.

Margaret Corrigan is currently awaiting trial on those fraud charges, stemming from her operation of a travel agency, a fact that Paschal Corrigan’s attorneys had planned to try to introduce at trial and one that could have forced her to invoke her Fifth Amendment right not to testify and possibly incriminate herself, they argued in court papers.

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