Belfast Telegraph

Medical evidence delays ex-GAA star's appeal on killing father

By Alan Erwin

A former Tyrone GAA star's challenge to the jail term imposed for shooting dead his father has been put back due to efforts to finalise expert medical opinion.

Sean Hackett's appeal against the minimum 10-year prison sentence imposed for the killing was set to take place next month.

But with his defence team having secured two consultant psychiatrists based at Broadmoor in Berkshire, the hearing will be delayed until June at the earliest.

The 20-year-old was convicted last year of the manslaughter of Aloysius Hackett on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

A jury found him guilty after acquitting him of murdering his father at the family home near Augher, Co Tyrone, in January 2013. He was ordered to serve at least 10 years of a life sentence before being considered for parole.

However, Hackett's lawyers are to challenge the sentence on the grounds that it does not adequately reflect his mental state at the time of the killing.

A judge who examined the case granted them leave to mount an appeal against a prison term they claim is unduly excessive.

The victim, a former chairman of St Macartan's GAC in Augher, was shot twice in the head on the driveway of his Aghindarrah Road home. Sean Hackett, who previously captained the Tyrone minor GAA team, admitted the shooting but denied murder.

At his trial, it was set out that he had suffered depression in the months before the killing, triggered by a split from his girlfriend.

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