Belfast Telegraph

Two-and-a-half years for killer who went on run

A convicted murderer who went on the run while on temporary release has been jailed for a total of two-and-a-half years.

Samuel McKinley (51) appeared at Belfast Crown Court yesterday where he was jailed for 18 months for being unlawfully at large and had a further year added for breaching a suspended sentence.

The court had earlier heard that McKinley, of no fixed address, went on the run for 17 days from April 20 this year having been granted an unaccompanied day release from jail where he was serving a life sentence.

In that case an English judge imposed a minimum 10-year tariff in 1996 for stabbing his friend and drinking partner in the thigh and kiling him during an alcohol-fuelled session.

Arrested on May 7 this year, McKinley, who was transferred to Maghaberry in 2005, behaved aggressively towards the officers and he later pleaded guilty to offences of being unlawfully at large and resisting police.

Prosecuting lawyer Philip Henry told the court it was not the first time that McKinley had breached temporary release conditions, having been handed a suspended sentence in 2009 for a similar offence when he went on the run for a total of four days.

Solicitor advocate Gerard McNamara said that despite McKinley being assessed as dangerous and at a high risk of reoffending, he had achieved “enhanced prisoner status” in jail and was engaging in various probation-run courses.

Jailing McKinley, Judge Gordon Kerr QC ordered that he spend half his sentence in prison and half on licence, warning him that “you are certainly not doing yourself any favours”.

“This behaviour is simply holding you back and will keep you back for a lengthy period of time,” he added.

Belfast Telegraph

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