Belfast Telegraph

Sectarian thugs caged for brutal murder bid on teen GAA player

BY JOANNE FLEMING

Two men who left a teenager for dead in a “merciless” sectarian attack in Antrim have been jailed.

GAA player Jordan Duffy, then just 17, almost died of his injuries after being repeatedly kicked and stamped on while heading home after a night out in August 2011.

Nathan Wilson (22), from Birch Hill Meadows in Antrim, was jailed for 15 years.

Colin Kingsbury (24), from Carntall Gardens in the town, was jailed for 13-and-a-half-years.

A third defendant was found not guilty of any charges following a three-week trial at Antrim Magistrates Court in May.

At Antrim Crown Court sitting in Newry yesterday, Judge Alastair Devlin told Wilson and Kinsgbury that they had subjected their victim to a “sustained and merciless” attack on the Station Road in Antrim that was “completely unprovoked”.

Judge Devlin said both showed a chilling indifference to any injuries they had inflicted on the young man, who was three to five years their junior.

He said Wilson was the main instigator and his aggression was fuelled by alcohol and was motivated by sectarianism.

He told him he would serve half of his 15-year sentence in prison while the remaining seven-and-a-half years would be served under supervised licensed parole.

Judge Devlin ordered that Kingsbury serve six years and nine months imprisonment of his 13-and-a-half years term, while the remainder be served on licensed parole.

The pair, who admitted attacking the former St Comgall's GAA player in the early hours of August 5, 2011, were convicted last month of attempting to murder the teenager.

Judge Devlin said but for the timely intervention and professionalism of the police, ambulance and other medical staff, Jordan may have died from his serious injuries.

At their trial, prosecuter Richard Weir QC told how young Jordan and three friends had been drinking in Magherafelt and had just returned to Antrim town.

He said a taxi had dropped the teen off at the wrong location and his friends agreed to walk him home.

As they walked along Station Road they passed three others, including Kingsbury and Wilson, who were on the opposite side of the road. One asked where the youths had been, and on hearing where they had been drinking, sectarian remarks were made.

In a statement, the investigating PSNI officer said Jordan's parents were proud of him and the recovery he has made.

Detective Constable Natalie Moore said: “The prison terms given to each of the defendants reflects the serious and callous nature of the crime.

“It is a testament to his bravery and strength of character that he fought back from those injuries and is now just finishing his first year at university.”

Local politicians welcomed the length of the jail terms.

SDLP Councillor Thomas Burns said: “For too long people who have carried out these type of attacks have got away too lightly.”

Sinn Fein councillor Noel Maguire said efforts were being made to address the problem of sectarianism in Antrim but that more needed to be done.

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