Northern Ireland

Geoff Kerr 'burned into widow's soul'

Financial advisor and gun enthusiast Geoff Kerr was murdered in his home
Image caption Financial advisor and gun enthusiast Geoff Kerr was murdered in his home

The widow of County Antrim man Geoff Kerr has said the events of the night he was murdered are "burned into my very soul".

On Tuesday, Darren Kernohan, 35, of Moss Drive, Antrim, was given a life sentence for the murder of the 60-year-old father of four.

Mr Kerr was shot dead at his home in Templepatrick during an attempted robbery in April 2009.

His widow Sally said her future seemed "very bleak" without her husband.

"I wanted ultimately to hear a jury of his peers pronounce Kernohan guilty, that is what I really wanted.

"True justice would be that somebody could do something in some way to restore Geoff to me, obviously that's not going to happen."

Last week, Martin Fleming, 51, of Churchill Road in Larne, pleaded guilty to the murder and was jailed for life.

Mrs Kerr added: "I do take some comfort from the knowledge that these people will be out of circulation for some years to come."

Fatal shot

Kernohan had admitted firing the fatal shot, but had claimed he had done so accidentally during a struggle with the victim.

Image caption Darren Kernohan was convicted of the murder

However, the jury at Belfast Crown Court rejected this and found him guilty of the murder.

Mr Justice Hart told him: "The law requires and permits one sentence to be imposed in relation to a charge of murder, that's one of life imprisonment and I sentence you to life imprisonment."

During the six-day hearing the jury of nine men and three women heard how Kernohan and Fleming forced their way into Mr Kerr's home on 27 April 2009 to steal his seven legally-held guns.

However, Mr Kerr tackled Kernohan and was hitting him on the head with a heavy antique soup dish when Kernohan shot him once through the heart, killing him almost instantly.

Three other accused had previously admitted lesser offences connected to the murder of the father of four, who was a financial advisor and gun enthusiast.

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