A killer has been found dead just four weeks after his brother, who was convicted of the same murder, took his own life.
Ian Weir (35) will be buried on Tuesday after his lifeless body was discovered last Tuesday. His younger brother Jason Weir (34) died from suicide in Magilligan Prison on February 9.
The siblings and their millionaire farmer father Jimmy Seales (60) were convicted of the 2012 shotgun murder of Philip Strickland in Comber, Co Down.
Because Ian gave evidence against his dad in court, he was given a reduced sentence of life with a minimum four-year tariff.
He was freed from prison in 2019 and had been staying at the Thompson House probation hostel in north Belfast.
His younger brother Jason, who died last month, was sentenced to life with a minimum nine-and-a-half year term. He was due for release later this year.
Their father Jimmy Seales was caged for life with a minimum 14-year tariff. He will not be freed until at least 2026.
Sources at Maghaberry Prison, where the wealthy farmer is being held, described his devastation at the news of Ian's death.
"Losing two sons in the space of four weeks is heartbreaking," said a source. "Jimmy divides opinion in Maghaberry, but even inmates who would not be friendly with him have been offering their condolences.
"Your heart goes out to the poor mother of Ian and Jason Weir and the rest of the family."
Sources said Ian had been struggling to deal with the suicide of his younger brother Jason last month.
"They were very close. They were more like twins than brothers because there was only a year between them," a pal told Sunday Life.
Ian will be buried at a private service in Newtownards on Tuesday, with only family and close friends invited because of coronavirus restrictions.
He had a fractious relationship with his dad Jimmy Seales, who he accused in court of offering him £500,000 to take the rap for the Strickland murder.
In statements to police, he admitted handling the shotgun used in the killing, which has never been recovered.
Ian further confessed to washing clothing after the murder and "disabling his own vehicle" in order to assist alibis.
On the third day of being questioned by detectives, he told of how he wanted to get something off his chest.
According to statements in court made by his lawyer, "Ian named his father, Jimmy Seales, as committing the murder, shooting Strickland dead".
"Ian is completely terrified of his father who has exerted a controlling influence over him for many years and who bullied him," added the lawyer.
Philip Strickland was killed by shotgun blasts to the face and legs after being abducted by Ian and Jason Weir at their dad Jimmy Seales' yard.
Despite being convicted of being the gunman, Seales continues to deny involvement and insists he was framed.
He also denies offering his sons £500,000 each to take the blame for the murder.
Seales had blamed Strickland for being involved in a gang assault on him at the end of 2011 that left him with broken bones protruding through his arms.
He said he was targeted after ordering drug dealers to remove a cannabis factory from one of his barns. After battering Seales, his attackers urinated on him as he lay helpless.
Strickland's family have always denied he was involved in both incidents, which detectives believe gave Seales motive for murder.