Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Anguish of murdered musician's family as killer freed after just four years

The family of murdered Londonderry man Jim Gilchrist have called for a review of sentencing after one of his killers was released four years into a 10-year sentence.

The Gilchrist family said they are now fearful of meeting Daniel Young, who admitted the manslaughter of the well-known musician on the streets of Derry.

Young (25), from Cornshell Fields in the city, was one of three men jailed in June 2008 in connection with the killing of Mr Gilchrist.

The Prison Service confirmed yesterday he was no longer in custody and had been released.

Mr Gilchrist was attacked while on his way home from a motorcycle club meeting in September 2005.

The 62-year-old father-of-five and grandfather was a respected blues musician who performed throughout Northern Ireland.

He was still alive when he was dumped into the River Foyle, where he died.

His remains were later recovered from the river shortly after police divers located his bicycle.

Mr Gilchrist’s family have now erected posters at a bench in his memory along the quayside, notifying people that Young has been freed.

His daughter Catherine said her family was dismayed at the decision to release the killer so soon.

She said Young had never apologised to the family for his part in the killing.

“I don’t want my mother walking down the street and walking into him,” she said.

“She doesn’t keep well as it is. I don’t want her taking a heart attack. I have experience of that feeling when I came across someone who looked like one of them.

“I was walking through a park on my own one day and I saw him and I just froze.

“It is very scary, and it’s scary to think that any of them might do this again.”

She added: “We wanted to let people know what is happening.

“We are not vigilante-type of people, although sometimes you wish you were, but we want to highlight this.

“We need a proper debate about how lenient the justice system is.

“It is too late for us now, but if we can help somebody else from going through this, then it is important.”

Ms Gilchrist said the past eight years had been horrific for the family.

“You are waiting for closure, you are waiting for it to get easier, and it does get easier once you get counselling and are able to put it in your wee box, but it never, ever goes away,” she added.

Ms Gilchrist said her dad and mum, Eileen, had been making plans for their retirement.

She added: “We are trying to make a bit of a future for my mother. Why should these boys be able to live their lives again after what they did?”

Young was one of four men convicted in relation to Mr Gilchrist’s death.

Anthony Fahy, from Northland Avenue, admitted murdering Mr Gilchrist and was jailed for life with a minimum 13-year tariff.

Daryl Quigley, from Crawford Square, like Young, admitted to the manslaughter of Mr Gilchrist and was also jailed for 10 years, with two years probation.

In January this year Quigley was jailed for 18 months after breaching his probation.

A fourth defendant, David Young from Jefferson Court, admitted forging Mr Gilchrist's stolen cheque book and was put on probation for one year.

Background

Jim Gilchrist was murdered in Londonderry as he cycled home from a night out in the city September 2005. He was attacked by a group as he returned from a meeting of a motorcycle club and thrown into the River Foyle while still alive.

The 62-year-old father-of-five and grandfather was later found dead in the water.

Four young men have been convicted in connection with the death of Mr Gilchrist, who was a well-known blues |musician.

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