Belfast Telegraph

Mum's fury as man who stabbed son 200 times to serve at least 12 years

By Deborah McAleese

A mother whose "smiling and loyal" son was stabbed 200 times in a frenzied knife attack has demanded that his killer's 12-year prison term be increased.

Drea Neil's 24 year-old son Kyle Neil, a father-of-one, was stabbed repeatedly in the head, chest and back after a house party, before his lifeless body was wrapped in a blanket and dumped in the boot of a car.

His friend, Wesley Harry Vance (28), was yesterday sentenced to serve a minimum of 12 years of a life sentence for a murder police described as a "brutal act of violence."

However, Ms Neil hit out at the length of the prison term and said she was exploring appeal options.

"As Kyle's family and friends, we have come to the end of a difficult process, but it is also true to say our life sentence has just begun," she added.

"Kyle was the life and soul of the party - he was always smiling and ready to help anyone.

"He was a loyal friend, but above all an amazing daddy to his daughter Sophie.

"We can try to put our loss and hurt into words, but Sophie has yet to face and try to understand that her 'Dada' has been taken from her.

"She has been robbed of his love and he will never see the milestones throughout her life."

Ms Neil also explained that she would never get over the loss of her son.

"As his mother I will always miss him, but I'm grateful for the 24 years I had him," she added.

"We are disappointed with the sentencing and are exploring the option of an appeal in relation to this."

Kyle was at a party in Vance's apartment in Comber, Co Down, on April 11, 2015.

A few hours after everyone left and Vance's girlfriend went to bed, a drunken argument broke out between the two friends.

During the row, Vance stabbed Kyle 200 times in the head, chest and back.

When he realised he was dead, Vance began to clean his apartment by taking down curtains and mopping up blood.

He then wrapped the body in a blanket, carried it to his Ford Fiesta car and dumped it in the boot.

Vance then went back to his apartment, where he woke his girlfriend Stephanie Todd and told her what he had done.

Todd told Vance she wanted to speak to her mother as she would know what to do. With the body still in the boot of the car Todd drove herself and Vance to her mother's house in Belfast and told her what had happened, after which her mother rang the police.

During sentencing at Belfast Crown Court yesterday, Mr Justice Colton said the most compelling features of the case for him were "the extent and the number of the wounds inflicted on the deceased".

As Vance was being led away in handcuffs by prison workers, a relative of Mr Neill tapped the glass partition of the court's public gallery and shouted at him: "Remember his face. I hope that it stays with you for the rest of your life."

Todd (26), of Russell Court, Belfast, was given a 12-month conditional discharge for obstructing police. She was also banned from driving for three months for driving Vance's car with excess alcohol.

PSNI detective inspector Chris Wilson said: "This was a brutal act of violence that tragically resulted in the loss of a young man's life.

"Kyle's family has been robbed of a much-loved son, grandson, brother and father, and our thoughts are with them today. No family should have to go through this heartbreak."

Belfast Telegraph


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