Belfast Telegraph

Pauline Carmichael murder: Ex-soldier Alan Foster sentenced to nine years at Belfast Crown Court

Two of Pauline Carmichael's heartbroken daughters revealed on Wednesday that their mother had a fear of water and would have been terrified in the moments leading to her death.

Noreen Brown and Jeanette Hall - two of Ms Carmichael's seven children - attended the tariff hearing at Belfast Crown Court.

Speaking after their mother's murderer was handed a minimum nine-year prison sentence, they said they felt justice had not been served. The sisters also revealed that Ms Carmichael was a loving mother and grandmother - but was also a "lost soul" due to her dependency on alcohol.

Ms Hall paid tribute to both the police and the Public Prosecution Service, but said she felt the sentence handed to Foster was not enough.

She said: "We feel justice has not been done today. It should be a life for a life. Not only have they taken our mum, they have taken our children's grandmother.

"The things we have had to listen to about the things she went thought has damaged us. We have never hidden the fact she suffered from alcoholism, but even with this fact, she was a good and loving person."

The sisters also revealed that their mother's murder was made all the more callous due to the fact she was terrified of water, which they believe added even more trauma to the way she died.

Ms Brown said: "Her biggest fear was of water - anyone who knew her knew that. She would have been terrified on that bridge, knowing the river was below."

During today's tariff hearing, Foster's capability was reduced after it was accepted that the 38-year old - a former soldier who served in Bosnia and Iraq - was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

However, both Ms Brown and Ms Hall said they too were suffering from PTSD as a result of what Foster did to their mother.

The grieving siblings also spoke of events in Ms Carmichael's 16 grandchildren's lives that she will now miss.

Ms Hall said: "She will miss all the things that grannies would normal do, like birthdays, weddings and proms. She's not going to experience any of these things now. She was only 62, she could have lived for another 30 years.

"As for Foster, he's 38 and in 2024 he'll be able to apply for release. That's not to say he will get it, but he can still apply."

Ms Brown also revealed that the family does not believe Foster's claims of remorse. She said: "We don't believe it's genuine. When we've come to court before, he's smirked at us. How is that showing remorse?"

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