Northern Ireland

Family of man beaten to death welcome jail term

Paul Houston
Image caption Paul Houston was found dead in the Algarve region of Portugal

The family of a Londonderry businessman who was beaten to death in Portugal last year have welcomed the jail sentence handed down to his killers.

Diego Dias, 20, and Jones Sousa dos Santos, 28, both from Brazil, were convicted of the manslaughter of Paul Houston, 51, in Portugal last year.

They were sentenced to 14 years in prison when they appeared in court in Portugal on Monday.

Mr Houston was attacked on a golfing holiday in the Algarve with his wife.

Mr Houston's widow and three of their four children were in court in Portimao as the judge sentenced the two men.

Afterwards, in a statement, they said they had suffered "unspeakable grief since his brutal and untimely death" but took comfort from the fact that justice had now been done.

"We do not intend that bitterness or regret will become a major part of our lives," the statement said.

"Instead, we will look to Christian forgiveness as we continue to celebrate Paul's remarkable life through the many happy memories, stories and laughter we shared with him over the years."

'Horrible crime'

Judge Alda Casimiro ordered the killers to each pay the victim's family 40,000 euros in compensation.

Jailing them, she said: "It was a horrible crime and the lack of regret you have shown was fundamental in the sentencing."

Portuguese police arrested the pair three days after the attack as they prepared to flee the country.

Sentencing was put on hold last week after a key witness in the Portuguese trial admitted lying.

At an earlier hearing, the two men admitted to fighting with Mr Houston but denied manslaughter.

The father-of-four was found alive in a secluded alleyway at Alvor, in the Algarve region, on 6 September, but paramedics were unable to save his life.

A post-mortem exam revealed he had died from blows to the head.

Mr Houston was on holiday with his wife and another couple. His wife and their two friends had returned to their accommodation after a meal but Mr Houston had stayed out at a karaoke bar.

Mr Houston owned Houston Shoes on the Strand Road in Derry. He lived in Donegal and was president of Greencastle Golf Club.

More on this story