Belfast Telegraph

Dungannon man jailed for his role before murder has licence revoked over alleged arson

Liam Murray
Liam Murray
Eamonn Hughes

By Staff Reporter

A Dungannon man jailed for his role in the incident leading to the murder of Eamonn Hughes has had his licence revoked over alleged further offending involving arson.

Liam Patrick Kevin Murray appeared at Dungannon Magistrates' Court yesterday charged with damaging by fire a car belonging to a male on August 9.

A senior police officer told the court the charge could be connected.

Murray (33), from Drumkee Villas, was released from prison on life-licence after being convicted of affray on September 13, 2008, when Mr Hughes was brutally murdered.

This occurred in the presence of Mr Hughes' wife, family and friends as they made their way home from his daughter's 18th birthday party.

In what a judge described as "a happy family occasion transformed into a nightmare", Murray along with three others instigated a violent confrontation.

Although Murray was not connected to the actual death, his cousin Martin Murray stabbed Mr Hughes in the chest causing almost immediate fatal injuries. He was jailed for 18 years.

Whilst he lay dying on the road, two women, Martina Donaghy and her daughter Emma Donaghy, were tending to him when a third defendant drove a vehicle at speed, with both Murrays on board. The judge held this was done deliberately with the intention of killing the women, who both sustained severe live-changing injuries.

In January 2005, Liam Murray, while aged 18, was involved in a violent altercation, and after chasing a Lithuanian man from his home following an argument, stabbed him in the chest an estimated eight times.

Convicted of manslaughter in November 2006, he was sent to the Young Offenders Centre for six years but with time served was released less than a year-and-a-half later, in April 2008.

The incident involving Mr Hughes' murder occurred five months later.

During a sentencing hearing, the judge concurred with an assessment that Murray was dangerous and posed a significant risk to the public. He was jailed for 10 years with a five year minimum period to be served before consideration for release.

While it is not clear when Murray was released, the latest charge has since seen him returned to prison and the revoking of his licence. Consequently, there was no application for bail and Murray - who did not speak during the short hearing - was returned to custody to appear again by video link next month.

It is understood he will now serve out the remainder of his sentence in prison for his role in the affray leading to Mr Hughes' murder.

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