Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Judge to decide on killer brothers' prison sentences

Convicted: Daniel McCartney
Convicted: Daniel McCartney

Two self-confessed killer brothers will find out next week how long they will spend in jail after they admitted involvement in a man's death.

Kevin McCartney (29) has already been jailed for life after he admitted the murder of Portadown man David Neill.

At Craigavon Crown Court yesterday, Judge Patrick Lynch QC said he would fix the minimum tariff he will serve next Thursday.

McCartney's 21-year-old brother Daniel, who admitted Mr Neill's manslaughter, will find out his sentence on the same day.

A third defendant, Deiviidas Neimontas (18) who pleaded guilty to affray, walked free from court after his 12-month jail term was suspended for two years.

A prosecution barrister told the court all three defendants had gone to Mr Neill's home in Parkmore and that after a missile had been thrown at his door, breaking a window, he armed himself with a baseball bat and gave chase.

Believing he would have to defend himself, Kevin McCartney, who had been drinking all day, had armed himself with a knife.

His lawyer claimed that he lashed out on the "spur of the moment" and inflicted the single stab wound from which Mr Neill died.

The 46-year-old father of two bled to death while being cradled in the arms of his distraught daughter Kirsty Cahoon.

The McCartney brothers, both from Enniskeen in Craigavon, pleaded guilty just before their trial was due to get underway last month.

A defence lawyer for Daniel McCartney said his client had been warned by police that night about a person who was carrying a crossbow and was looking for him.

This was the trigger, he added, for McCartney to go and get that person and it coincided with the arrival of his brother, Kevin McCartney, who then got involved in the affray.

A barrister for Neimontas said he played no physical role in what happened and the affray offence was at the lower end of the scale.

Sentencing Neimontas, Judge Lynch said he accepted the defendant had a limited understanding of what was going on and had mixed in wrong company.

The judge added that he accepted it was a lower level of affray "not withstanding the tragic consequences" of what happened.

Remanding the McCartney brothers back into custody, Judge Lynch said he would pass sentence in a week.

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