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Murdered Thomas was stabbed nine times, court hears

By Ivan Little

The mother of murdered Belfast teenager Thomas Devlin wept in court as a pathologist told a jury the full extent of the horrific knife attack which killed her son.

Sitting in the public gallery of Belfast Crown Court, Penny Holloway wiped tears from her eyes as Northern Ireland's Assistant State Pathologist Dr Peter Ingram revealed that Thomas was knifed nine times, two of the stab wounds damaged the 15-year-old boy's aorta — the main artery to his heart — and a lung.

Dr Ingram said Thomas had been stabbed four times in the back, twice in the arm, and once in the left eye, abdomen and hip

Two men are on trial charged with the murder just after midnight on August 10, 2005.

Nigel James Brown (26) from Whitewell Road and 23-year-old Gary Taylor from Mountcollyer Avenue are denying the murder and the attempted murder of the victim's 22-year-old friend Jonathan McKee in the same attack on the Somerton Road in north Belfast.

They also deny attempting to cause Mr McKee grievous bodily harm. But Brown has pleaded guilty to another charge of GBH against Mr McKee.

Dr Ingram said that Thomas Devlin's injuries were so serious he would have died rapidly.

The only way he could have had any chance of surviving, he said, was if a cardiac specialist had been in the Somerton Road with the right equipment to immediately repair the damage to his aorta.

The pathologist said that no more than moderate force would have been needed to inflict the fatal injuries.

Dr Ingram said it was possible that he had first been attacked from behind but he said it was also possible that he was first stabbed from the front and that he was later knifed in the back after he fell to the ground.

The jury were later shown CCTV footage of the movements of the two accused on the day of the murder.

The trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph