Belfast Telegraph

LVF killer back in prison over violent hospital brawl

A convicted loyalist killer and one-time police informer has been jailed for three years after he had a fight in a hospital reception.

Jailing 46-year-old Philip Blaney at Belfast Crown Court, Judge Gemma Loughran told him “serious violence on repeated occasions is no stranger to you”, and that the fight he had with his brother-in-law in Belfast’s Mater Hospital was “disgraceful”.

Ordering that after he serves half of his sentence he will be subject to a three-year extended licence period to protect the public, the judge told him: “That the fight was in a hospital, where people come to be nurtured for their suffering, renders your behaviour quite deplorable.”

After a trial last year Blaney, from Westland Road in Portadown, was convicted of affray and possessing a weapon, namely a wheel brace, on August 8 2008.

The jury heard that Blaney became aware that his brother-in-law, armed with a knuckle-duster, was coming to fight with him so he made arrangements to get a wheel-brace.

The pair fought in the middle of the packed reception and Blaney struck his brother-in-law on the head with the metal bar. The offence happened when Blaney was still on licence for the manslaughter of grandmother Elizabeth O’Neill, who was killed in an LVF pipe-bomb attack in 1999.

In 2003 Blaney was jailed for 12 years for the killing.

He was also convicted of possessing an explosive substance with intent and two counts of causing an explosion.

Yesterday Judge Loughran revealed that Blaney has 64 previous offences including drugs offences, wounding with intent and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Judge Loughran commented that she was “very surprised” to hear Blaney was in custody on another matter, but added that “I don't think I should take that into account”. In sentencing Blaney, the judge said she believed an extended licence period was sufficient to protect the public.

Belfast Telegraph

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