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Ballymena man McClintock admits murder of Jason Lee Martin at party after doctor retracts evidence

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Admission: Jordan Bradley Jake McClintock, who was found guilty of the murder of Jason Lee Martin

Admission: Jordan Bradley Jake McClintock, who was found guilty of the murder of Jason Lee Martin

Jason Lee Martin

Jason Lee Martin

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Admission: Jordan Bradley Jake McClintock, who was found guilty of the murder of Jason Lee Martin

A young Co Antrim man has been jailed for life after finally admitting to the murder of Ballymena man Jason Lee Martin during a drinks party on June 27 last year.

Jordan Bradley Jake McClintock, who had denied murder, always admitted stabbing the 31-year-old in the leg, severing his femoral artery.

Mr Martin bled to death despite frantic attempts to save him.

Antrim Crown Court heard such were the desperate efforts by one party-goer to stem the bleeding of the father of two, he was left "covered head to toe" in his friend's blood.

The court, sitting in Belfast, was told he had ripped his top to shreds for makeshift tourniquets and to bandage the stab wounds, while a "calm" looking McClintock dropped his 10-inch knife and fled, smiling.

The 19-year-old from Orkney Drive in the Co Antrim town had previously admitted the manslaughter of Mr Martin by reason of "diminished responsibility" based on a consultant's report. But the plea was rejected by the prosecution, who maintained it was murder.

McClintock’s guilty plea came in the wake of his psychiatrist Dr Ronan Brennan saying on Tuesday that he could no longer stand over his findings that McClintock was suffering from a “substantial abnormality of mental function” at the time of the stabbing.

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At the start of proceedings on Wednesday, defence QC Barra McGrory asked simply that "Jordan McClintock be rearraigned" on the murder charge.

Later, Mr McGrory said on obtaining further reports, McClintock "would be making through his plea the point he had medical advice that he could avail of the defence of diminished responsibility".

Following the guilty plea, trial judge Mr Justice Humphreys directed the jury of seven women and four men to convict McClintock of the murder by way "of confession".

He then told McClintock having now "admitted your guilt to the charge of murder, and the jury have formally recorded a verdict of guilty by confession, that means there is only one course of sentencing open to this court and that is to sentence you to custody for life".

Mr Justice Humphreys also told McClintock a tariff hearing will be held in the New Year to rule on the minimum period without remission he must serve, and "ultimately the date and timing of your release will be a matter for the Parole Commissioners in the future".

Earlier, prosecution QC Richard Weir said he had been able to inform the family "of this expectation and now reality" of McClintock's guilty plea, which they welcomed.

"I am authorised by them to tell the court, which may be of some relevance at a later stage, that his guilty plea, his acknowledgement that he murdered Jason, is of great importance to them and is what they have been seeking from the very start of this tragic process," added Mr Weir.

Mr Justice Humphreys added he also "acknowledged the pain I am sure this trial has put them through, but I also acknowledge the welcome with which they have received ultimately the plea of guilty this morning".

The week-long trial had heard how an uninvited, sober McClintock – who was known to change into a "different person" with drink in him – joined the party being held in a neighbour's home, where "everyone was drinking and having a laugh, and everyone was happy".

However, McClintock was soon "rightly" drunk when "out of the blue he started “slabbering at everybody ... making general threats".

Although there were no real arguments, McClintock was told by those present "fighting would get him nowhere and that respect had to be earned".

He was later heard talking in the kitchen with Mr Martin, who also advised him "you only got respect by giving respect". And while they had not argued – "no rows, nothing" – he stabbed Mr Martin for no apparent reason.

Those present told police no sooner had Mr Martin sat on the edge of a chair when McClintock came "flying in". He was armed with a "big knife in his right hand and started stabbing Jason ... lightning fast ... in the blink of an eye".

A shocked Mr Martin got up and stumbled into the kitchen and back hallway where he fell, leaving "a river of blood" in his wake.

Despite "desperate efforts" to save him he was declared dead shortly after arrival at Antrim Area Hospital.

Meanwhile McClintock was arrested in his mother's home nearby, and later interviewed.

While he said he could not remember what happened in the house, yesterday he finally admitted his guilt.


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