Northern Ireland

Ciaran Nugent given life sentence for murders of Caron Smyth and Finbar McGrillen

Ravenhill Court, Belfast
Image caption The bodies of Caron Smyth and Finbar McGrillen were found in Mr McGrillen's apartment at Ravenhill Court

A man who was facing trial for a double killing in east Belfast has been given a life sentence after he changed his pleas and admitted the murders.

Ciaran Nugent was due to stand trial at Belfast Crown Court on Tuesday.

Nugent, 33, formerly of the Simon Community on the Falls Road in Belfast, had denied involvement in the murders.

But late on Monday his legal team asked that he be re-arraigned for the killings of friends Caron Smyth, 40, and 42-year old Finbar McGrillen.

The friends' bodies were found in the living room of Mr McGrillen's apartment at Ravenhill Court on 13 December 2013.

Last week, 34-year old Shaun Patrick Joseph Hegarty, formerly of Grainne House in the New Lodge area of Belfast, admitted murdering Ms Smyth and Mr McGrillen.

The minimum prison sentence that both men will have to serve before being considered eligible for release will be set at a later hearing.

Pre-sentence reports have been ordered on both men, who are currently on remand.

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