Belfast Telegraph

Three years ‘too long’ for imprisoned loyalist

A loyalist previously accused of murdering an investigative journalist should have received less than a three-year jail sentence for a catalogue of other terror-related offences, the Court of Appeal heard.

Even though Neil Hyde's 18-year sentence was slashed due to his co-operation with police and confessions, his lawyers argued that the reduction did not go far enough.

Hyde (32) from Lurgan, Co Armagh, was jailed in February for 48 offences linked to the Loyalist Volunteer Force. Senior judges were told that he received a 75% discount for helping the authorities.

A further third was taken off for entering guilty pleas at the earliest opportunity.

But Mark George QC claimed the trial judge failed to take other factors into account. “We submit he has made no, or certainly not adequate allowance for matters of personal mitigation,” he said.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, Lord Justice Girvan and Lord Justice Coghlin will deliver judgment at a later date.

Belfast Telegraph

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