| 13.3°C Belfast

Paul McCauley's dad says: 'Others must be nervous, knowing police haven't walked away from this'

As two caged over fatal beating, father tells of hope that rest of gang will face justice

The father of a man who died from his injuries almost a decade after a savage sectarian attack by a loyalist gang has said he draws comfort from the police still searching for others involved after two of the killers were jailed.

Paul McCauley passed away in 2015 as a result of the beating. The dad-of-one had been in a persistent vegetative state for nine years. Yesterday two men were jailed for their role in the attack.

Piper John McClements (28), previously known as Daryl Proctor, from the Fountain in Londonderry, must serve a minimum of three years for murder.

McClements had previously served six years of a 12-year sentence handed down in 2009 after he admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr McCauley and two people who were with him that night.

Matthew Brian Gillon (31), of Bonds Street in Derry, was sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter.

In a police recording released after yesterday's sentencing, Gillon was heard describing the attack as "exciting".

Mr McCauley's father Jim, who maintained a daily presence along with his late wife Cathy at their son's bedside for the nine years he was in a coma, told the Belfast Telegraph that he was satisfied with the sentence.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

He also expressed hope that other members of the gang who have yet to be arrested and brought to court will still face justice.

Close

Paul McCauley's father James outside Laganside Court in Belfast yesterday

Paul McCauley's father James outside Laganside Court in Belfast yesterday

Paul McCauley's father James outside Laganside Court in Belfast yesterday

 

"Within the confines of Northern Ireland law the sentence was the best the judge could do," he said.

Close

Paul McCauley's father James outside Laganside Court in Belfast yesterday

Paul McCauley's father James outside Laganside Court in Belfast yesterday

Paul McCauley's father James outside Laganside Court in Belfast yesterday

"It's good but not great, is the bottom line, but the fact is that both of them (McClements and Gillon) have custodial sentences.

"If you do the maths, Proctor - or McClements as he is now - will have served exactly the same length of time as Paul spent in a vegetative state.

"Gillon will have to serve five years (and five years on licence) of a 10-year sentence, which will hit him hard because of the lifestyle he led."

Yesterday Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey urged anyone with information about the other men involved in the attack to examine their consciences and "do the right thing".

He believes that up to six loyalist thugs were involved.

Mr McCauley said it was encouraging that police were still searching for the others.

He added: "It is a comfort to us today that the case remains opens and that Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey isn't content with just these two convictions.

Close

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey after the verdict

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey after the verdict

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey after the verdict

 

"The other members of the gang must be nervous, knowing that police haven't walked away from the investigation.

"The one thing that was missing from the court hearing was that no one at any stage referred to the International Monitoring Commission's report, which attributed the attack on my son to the UDA, which was disappointing."

Outside court, DCI Harvey said it was one of "the most heart-rending" cases he had dealt with in 31 years.

Close

Matthew Brian Gillon

Matthew Brian Gillon

Matthew Brian Gillon

 

"The McCauley family have lost a father, a son and a brother," he said. Reflecting on the facts of the shocking attack, he said Mr McCauley had been enjoying a barbecue with two friends in the early hours when they were set upon by around eight people. "This was a completely unprovoked sectarian attack," he added.

"The injuries that Paul received were devastating, he was left with a fractured skull and severe bleeding of the brain.

"Sadly, Paul never recovered from his injuries and slowly died and withered away in front of his family for over nine years.

"He passed away in the company of his immediate family."

Close

McClements (pictured) and Gillon were jailed yesterday over Mr McCauley's death

McClements (pictured) and Gillon were jailed yesterday over Mr McCauley's death

Photopress Belfast

McClements (pictured) and Gillon were jailed yesterday over Mr McCauley's death

 

DCI Harvey said his investigation suggested six people were directly involved in the assault.

"No one can dispute how difficult this has been for the McCauley family. But their dignity, their courage and commitment to seeing justice done has never wavered," he said.

He appealed to the public for information that could bring the other killers to justice. "Time has moved on, we're some 12 years on from this attack," he said.

"People have moved on in their lives, their personal circumstances change. If anyone has any information, please come forward and tell us."

Close

Paul McCauley

Paul McCauley

Paul McCauley

 

DCI Harvey said the investigation had been "exceptionally challenging" and covered multiple jurisdictions.

"I would appeal to anyone who has any information about the other men involved in this attack to examine your consciences and do the right thing," he added.

"This vicious attack was 12 years ago and Paul's family have had to live with the terrible consequences. Allegiances and loyalties are likely to have changed so I would urge anyone with any information that will help us to bring everyone involved in the assault before the courts to contact police on 101."


Top Videos



Privacy