Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Irishman guilty of Spanish murder

A suspected Irish hitman is facing up to 25 years in prison after being found guilty of murdering a man following a pub row in Spain.

Eric Wilson (27) was yesterday convicted of shooting dead a British expatriate who tried to stop him touching a female friend in a packed Spanish bar.

Wilson, of Ballyfermot in Dublin, claimed he was a victim of mistaken identity and had left Ireland for a peaceful new start abroad as a horse owner.

But the jury decided by an 8-1 majority verdict that he was guilty of killing Dan Smith (24) "in a premeditated fashion using violence to increase suffering".

Wilson shook his head in disbelief as a court translator told him the verdict. His victim's mother Karen Wetherell and her partner Russ Kelly broke down in tears in the courtroom in Malaga.

Last night Wilson, who was linked in the proceedings to several gangland murders in Ireland, was facing up to 25 years behind bars for the murder last year.

The judge is expected to announce the sentence in the next fortnight.

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