Belfast Telegraph

Family of man who was beaten to death in his home outraged at killers' sentences

By Michael Donnelly

The family of a man who was beaten to death in his own home by a gang armed with a hammer have said they are absolutely disgusted at the sentences handed down to his three killers.

Two of the men – 22-year-old Christopher Wright and Richard Chester (23) – were each jailed for five years, while the third man, 20-year-old James Jordan, was jailed for four years for the manslaughter of Lurgan man Andrew Lorimer.

Mr Lorimer's badly beaten body was only found when a burglar broke in to his flat two days after the fatal attack in February last year and phoned an ambulance.

Police and paramedics attended the scene and found Mr Lorimar. He was already dead.

The judge said Mr Lorimer had been left to crawl around in his flat for two days before finally succumbing to his extensive injuries.

A post mortem revealed Mr Lorimer had sustained a large number of blows to his body, including nine fractured ribs, four of which had broken in two.

The victim, a father-of-one, also suffered a punctured and collapsed lung, which eventually led to his death. A pathologist said Mr Lorimer had sustained "blunt force trauma'' to his body, possibly from feet, kicks and a hammer.

Sentencing the trio, Belfast Crown Court judge Mr Justice Weir said they would serve their prison terms in full, without remission, followed by equal terms on supervised licensed parole.

Mr Justice Weir said the men had carried out a "ferocious, sustained and brutal attack using fists, kicks and a hammer on Mr Lorimer, who was much loved and missed by his family, friends and work colleagues''.

But speaking outside Belfast's Laganside Courthouse, Mr Lorimer's older brother Philip said that the jail sentences "were not long enough''.

"I am absolutely disgusted at these sentences,'' he said yesterday.

"Last Friday, we left this court with the impression that he (the judge) was going to give them 10 years in prison. That's what we thought was going to happen.

"But this sentence today just proves there is no justice in this world for what these people did to my brother."

Mr Lorimer's tearful sister-in-law Julie, who is married to his brother David, said the family felt "badly let down'' by the court.

"Those three dragged Andrew's name through the mud. He was such a lovely, harmless defenceless man,'' she said.

"Andrew is not coming back. It is not as if he has gone on holiday. We will never see him again.

"This sentence today has totally destroyed us. We will never get over this."

Later, the officer who led the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Talbot said: "Andrew was a completely innocent victim. His family are still grieving for him. They have suffered a tragic and unnecessary loss."

QUOTES

"I read in the paper today about a man who got seven years for scarring a policeman. Five years in prison for Wright and Chester and four years in prison for Jordan for killing my younger brother is just not long enough.

"How is that justice for taking the life of a defenceless and harmless man?"

Victim's brother Philip

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