Northern Ireland

Tomas Hornay given life sentence for killing Luis Nazario Ximines

Tomas Hornay Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Tomas Hornay has been remanded into a secure mental health unit in south Belfast and will be sentenced later

A man who said he stabbed his friend to death because he heard "voices" has been given a life sentence.

Tomas Hornay, 36, attacked Luis Nazario Ximines with two kitchen knives at the house they shared in Dungannon, County Tyrone, on 1 August 2013.

Hornay will find out the minimum number of years he must serve on Friday.

On Tuesday, the prosecution argued the starting point should be 12 years, while the defence said it should be no more than nine years.

A prosecution QC said while it was accepted that Hornay was currently being treated for a "mental impairment", it was not accepted, nor had the jury, that he was suffering from a substantial or severe mental abnormality at the time, thereby diminishing his responsibility.

A defence QC said while they accept Hornay had armed himself with two knives, the attack was more spontaneous than premeditated and it was a borderline case between murder and manslaughter based on the medical evidence.

Hornay has been treated at a secure mental health unit since the murder.

During the trial, the court heard that Hornay told doctors he heard "several voices" telling him to kill his friend after the victim insulted his wife.

The court heard Mr Ximines was asleep in the house when Hornay armed himself with two kitchen knives, mixed chilli seeds in some water and threw the mixture into his victim's face.

He stabbed him about the neck and chest, causing fatal injuries.