Belfast Telegraph

Three held after Paul Smyth found shot dead at house in Lisburn

Forensic experts at the house where Paul Smyth was found dead
Forensic experts at the house where Paul Smyth was found dead
Paul Smyth

By Gillian Halliday

A man discovered dead at his home in Lisburn last week had been shot, it has emerged.

Paul Smyth (50) died at his house in Coulson Avenue on Friday evening.

Three men aged 28, 32 and 49 and a 28-year-old woman were arrested in connection with the murder of Mr Smyth, who is reported to have lived in the house for 20 years.

Detectives also conducted two searches in the Lisburn area, seizing items.

Yesterday the street remained cordoned off while officers maintained a presence.

Police later confirmed Mr Smyth had been shot.

Detective Chief Inspector Eamonn Corrigan urged anyone with information to come forward.

"Paul was found in his living room at around 8.45pm on Friday night," he said. "Three men and a woman have been arrested in the Lisburn area on suspicion of murder and remain in custody at this time.

"I am appealing for anyone with information that could potentially assist the investigation to please get in touch by calling 101.

"Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime."

A neighbour, who has lived in the area for a decade-and-a-half, spoke of his shock.

"I didn't know the person. Maybe I would know him to see. I honestly thought the house was empty," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

The man explained he had been out earlier in the evening and returned home to find the emergency services outside the property at around 8.45pm.

"There was a fair wee crowd gathered (at the scene). I think it was the man's relatives.

"I heard them crying... just the sounds of grief.

"There were men, women... all young ones."

The resident said that he had not known anything like it to happen in the area in all the time he had been living in the estate.

"This is a quiet wee place this, generally very quiet," he said.

"I'm 15 years here and we've all nationalities in this street."

Other residents also told this newspaper that they did not know the murder victim personally.

Yesterday it emerged that a supermarket delivery man had been unable to gain access to Mr Smyth's home.

One of Mr Smyth's friends described him as a kind, caring person

"We grew up with him - him and his sister," they told Q Radio.

"He was a good wee soul. He would have done anything for you."

Another person posted on social media that Mr Smyth was a "gentleman" who "didn't deserve" what had happened to him.

SDLP MLA Pat Catney said the community had been left in shock.

"It's just the last news people expected to wake up to," he said.

"My thoughts are with the family and friends of the man at this very difficult time.

"I would encourage anyone who may have seen or heard anything unusual in the area on Friday evening to come forward as soon as possible."

DUP councillor Jonathan Craig said he had been directly told by the PSNI that officers had suspects in mind and that it pointed to a "very clear line of inquiry".

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