Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Submission to murder trial sparks a rebuke

A senior judge has questioned the right of a so-called west Belfast community group to make written submissions to a murder trial.

Mr Justice Hart’s comments came during the tariff hearing of Thomas Valliday (22) from Lady Street for the murder of IRA man Francis ‘Bap’ McGreevy (51) two years ago last month.

Valliday's lawyer Philip Magee accused the West Belfast Community Safety Forum of attempting to “subvert” the Crown Court by making “a plea for vengence”.

Mr Justice Hart said this was “the first time that a document of this sort has been put before the court”.

The letter from the west Belfast group asked that Valliday be given a term that would “send out a clear message to others”.

Mr Magee said the call came from “people who had no right” to make such views to the court.

Mr Justice Hart will rule next week on the minimum term that Valliday must serve for the murder of Mr McGreevy in 2008.

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