Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Murderer must serve 16 years

A MAN convicted for the second time of the 'body in the bog' murder today became the first killer to be told how much of his life sentence he must serve before being considered for release.

A MAN convicted for the second time of the 'body in the bog' murder today became the first killer to be told how much of his life sentence he must serve before being considered for release.

Lisburn man James Shaw was found guilty at Craigavon Crown Court on October 26 this year of the murder of Timothy Sullivan - 18 days after the Life Sentence (NI) Order came into effect, stipulating that the trial judge must set a tariff for the time to be spent in prison.

The disappearance of 21-year-old Mr Sullivan in August 1995 remained a mystery for some time.

The skeletal remains were found submerged in bogland in Derriaghy in 1996.

This morning Shaw, now 25, from Dromara Park, was sentenced to life imprisonment and told he would not be considered for release for 16 years.

Mr Justice Sheil said the case fell into the higher tariff because it was a planned and cold-blooded murder.

Shaw was originally convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder in 2000, but a re-trial was later ordered by the Court of Appeal.

Mr Sullivan's sister Zara Cunningham, meanwhile, today said her family had been given the "best Christmas present ever".