Belfast Telegraph

Arson victim Lisa McClatchey pleaded for her mother, trial is told

By Paul Higgins

A paramedic has told a court how a horrifically burned arson victim pleaded for her mother as he treated her.

Sean Gordon told Armagh Crown Court that when he was treating Lisa McClatchey "she asked for her mammy, she wanted her mammy".

Mr Gordon was the first member of the emergency services to arrive at a house on the Foley Road, where Ms McClatchey and her boyfriend Thomas O'Hare had been taken after they were attacked at their house next door.

Although he began to treat Thomas first, he said he was made aware that Ms McClatchey was in the bathroom, so went to treat her.

The paramedic told the jury that when he asked Ms McClatchey what had happened, she told him how six men wearing balaclavas and armed with sledgehammers "accused Thomas of being a paedophile and started to beat him".

Describing how she was "speaking very clearly", he said Ms McClatchey told him "they poured petrol around the house and round them and lit them".

Both 21-year-old Ms McClatchey and Mr O'Hare (33) died in the days after the incident which happened seven years ago this month.

It is alleged the four brothers – Martin (40) from Kevlin Glen, near Omagh; 37-year-old Niall from Mourneview Park in Lurgan; Christopher (33) and Stephen Smith (31), both from Mourneview in Mowhan – launched their murderous attack in revenge for sex abuse Mr O'Hare perpetrated on Stephen Smith in the 1980s and early 90s. All four deny the murders and arson with intent to endanger life in November 2006.

The paramedic told prosecuting QC Toby Hedworth that Ms McClatchey was saying that she was "in a lot of pain and couldn't see".

Asked why he took an account from Ms McClatchey about what had happened, Mr Gordon said part of his training was that it is important "to get a good history" for when the patient is handed over to medical staff.

While he was treating Ms McClatchey, Mr Gordon said he heard her tell a police officer the men came in through the back door with hammers and two petrol canisters which they poured and lit.

Under cross-examination, Mr Gordon accepted there were differences between what he told police on November 10 and his statement four days later. He said he did not mention the men had hammers. But the paramedic denied a suggestion he had been influenced by gossip and what he had read in newspapers. "I would not have let that happen," he said.

The case continues.

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