Belfast Telegraph

Man jailed for manslaughter of Derry musician Jim Gilchrist is ordered back to prison

BY EAMONN MACDERMOTT

A man jailed for the manslaughter of Derry musician Jim Gilchrist has been sent back to prison for failing to comply with the probation aspect of his sentence.

Daniel Young (26), of no fixed abode, had been sentenced on June 30, 2008 to 10 years detention and two years probation for the manslaughter of Jim Gilchrist in September 2005.

At a hearing in front of Mr Justice Tracey sitting in Derry, the court heard that Young was released on July 7, 2012.

A prosecuting barrister said that since that period Young had been convicted of several offences – including taking and driving away, and driving while disqualified – and was currently awaiting trial on a charge of bringing drugs into Magilligan Prison.

He said that Young had failed to reside at an address agreed with the Probation Service and had failed to engage in his probation.

Defence barrister Eoghain Devlin called the defendant's mother to give evidence on his behalf.

His mother, Mrs Maddoc, pleaded with the court not to send her son back to prison.

She was asked about an incident in which she had called the police in August of this year and she said that there had been tensions between her partner and her son, and that Young had "lashed out in a rage" and the way she was being treated.

She said that Young had "a protective nature", at which point Mr Justice Tracey said: "It's a pity this protective nature does not extend to the musician whose death he was responsible for."

Mrs Maddoc said her son had "demons" and that he was "very sorry for his actions".

The judge said that the Probation Service did not make applications to breach someone like this "lightly".

He said that Young had been "extremely fortunate" that a plea to manslaughter had been accepted, especially in a case where Mr Gilchrist had been beaten unconscious and then thrown into the River Foyle.

He added: "You would think he would keep his nose completely clean."

Evidence was also heard from a senior probation officer who said she was "very pessimistic" that Young would adhere to any conditions imposed by the court.

The judge said that it was clear that Young "hasn't learned anything".

He added that he was revoking the probation order because Young had failed to adhere to it, and sentenced him to 18 months in prison.

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