Belfast Telegraph

Hammer killer Maguire lashes out as co-accused acquitted of murdering Eamonn Ferguson

By Michael Donnelly

A man unanimously convicted of bludgeoning his friend to death lashed out in court as he was handed a life sentence, claiming he had been "stitched up" like his killer father.

Louis Maguire was found guilty of murdering his 35-year-old friend, Eamonn Ferguson, and attacked the jury's decision to acquit his co-accused, Christopher Power, of murder.

The court previously heard that Mr Ferguson had been struck up to 20 times with a claw hammer. When the Belfast Crown Court jury cleared Power (33), Maguire (28) began shouting at them and trial judge Mr Justice Deeny ordered that he be removed from the dock.

"Yous got that wrong ... very f***ing wrong," Maguire shouted at the jury, before turning on Power. He shouted: "You might have fooled the jury, but you've not fooled me. Don't you think I will forget you, boy."

Maguire then turned to the public gallery to address the still grieving family of Mr Ferguson, telling them, "If I had of killed him, yous wouldn't have found him."

In one final outburst, he declared: "Yous stitched my da, and you are stitching me". Later, when brought back into court, Mr Justice Deeny told the killer "this jury has convicted you on strong evidence of the brutal and savage killing of Eamonn Ferguson, when he was a guest in your house and was in no position to defend himself".

Maguire had always denied murdering Mr Ferguson, who was found in the early hours of March 15, 2014, lying in the blood-splattered living room of Maguire's former Ardoyne Place home in north Belfast.

Although acquitted of the killing, Power, a former Co Offlay man, of no fixed abode, was convicted by a majority verdict of assisting an offender. He will be sentenced on November 30.

Mr Justice Deeny told Power's legal team that their client had been convicted of assisting "Maguire after the event of the murder of Eamonn Ferguson". Maguire had claimed Power was the cold-blooded killer, while he was an innocent on-looker.

Acquitting Power of the murder charge, the jury accepted his claims he had awoken from a drunken sleep and found Mr Ferguson lying in a pool of blood, watched over by Maguire sitting, smoking and holding a hammer.

In the end the jury accepted that Mr Ferguson had "died an unnatural death in a merciless attack", but not at the hands of both men, as maintained by the prosecution, but at the hands of Maguire alone who had previously threatened to kill him.

Maguire's father, also called Louis Maguire (50), is serving a minimum 24-year sentence for shooting dead his wife's former lover in Belfast in March 2003.

Belfast Telegraph


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