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Son of murdered Lisburn man Gerard Mulligan remains under police guard in hospital

By Allan Preston

Published 28/09/2016

A police officer near where the body was discovered
A police officer near where the body was discovered

A man arrested in connection with the murder of his father was still under police guard in hospital last night.

Gerard Mulligan, who was in his late 60s, was discovered dead at his home on Limehurst Way in Lisburn just after 4pm on Monday.

A postmortem on the victim is due to be carried out today.

Sources at the scene said he was shot dead.

A 44 year-old man - understood to be the victim's son, also called Gerard Mulligan - was arrested shortly afterwards on suspicion of murder.

Detectives said they did not suspect paramilitary involvement.

Yesterday afternoon, police stood guard outside the crime scene while their investigations continued.

Neighbours said they were shocked to learn that the quiet man on their street who was usually seen working on his car or walking his dog had been killed.

Pensioner Betty Belshaw (82), who has lived on the street for nearly 60 years, added: "It's very scary. My son had to come and give me a tablet to quieten me down as I'm still shaking."

"I saw the ambulance and the police arrive and then the next thing the police were closing off the street.

"I remember him and his mother moving in there about 50 years ago.

"He was a car dealer and if you were passing he spoke to you, but he was just a quiet man.

"I didn't even know he had a son because he was there on his own all the time."

Sharon Marsden (47) said she had walked past the house just 20 minutes before police arrived at the scene on Monday.

"It was very scary because I thought there was a sudden death - I didn't think that somebody had been murdered," she explained.

"It's really awful. He'd lived there for a long time."

Frank Graham (81), who lives across the street from the crime scene, said: "I've been told it happened late at night or early in the morning, but I was asleep at the time."

"I knew him because he would have walked his dog at the same time as me. We would have stopped and talked to each other and he was a nice, friendly gentleman.

"So I don't understand why this should happen. It's sad."

Rachel Caughey (28) was making her way home past the crime scene yesterday.

"I'm not used to things like that - I have three children and my youngest plays about on this street," she said.

An elderly neighbour who had once bought a car off the victim said she could not believe what had happened.

"He was a quiet person, I never heard him speak," she added. "I didn't even know that he had a son - that's how private he was. Many of us have been here for over 50 years and we've never heard the like of it."

Catherine Grogan (76) added: "My daughter told me last night all about the commotion and forensics arriving.

"She thought somebody had been stabbed at first.

"He was always working at his car when I went past, and he was a nice quiet fella.

"I've never had any trouble here and I've been here 50 years. It unsettles you when the police are here. I thought that it was a bomb scare."

The victim's son once had £750,000 in assets - including money, a Porsche Boxster car and two properties in Lisburn - that was frozen by the Assets Recovery Agency.

Afterwards, he closed his second-hand car dealership Top Carz.

The agency said in court that the 44-year-old had generated income from illegal activities such as tax evasion, fraud and false accounting.

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