Northern Ireland

Philip Strickland murder: Ian and Jason Weir sentenced

Philip Strickland Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Philip Strickland was shot dead in County Down in January 2012

Two brothers have been told how long they must spend in jail for the murder of a man in Comber two years ago.

Philip Strickland died in 2012 after being killed with a shotgun during a dispute with a County Down family.

Ian and Jason Weir, of Derryboye Road and Raffery Road, near Killinchy, had already pleaded guilty to murder.

On Thursday, a judge told Ian Weir he must serve four years of a life sentence, while Jason Weir will have to spend nine and a half years in jail.

During a lengthy trial, earlier this year, a jury heard how Mr Strickland was killed following a dispute with farmer Jimmy Seales, the father of the Weir brothers.

The pig farmer claimed the dispute began when he told a man to remove cannabis being grown in a shed he owned.

Seales was later stabbed and beaten with iron bars.

This was followed by Facebook comments and offensive graffiti about the farmer, for which he blamed Mr Strickland.

The dispute led to a meeting between Mr Strickland and Seales, his two sons and their friend, Stephen McCaughey, at a yard on Ballyglighorn Road on the outskirts of Comber, County Down.

Shortly after he arrived at the yard, Mr Strickland was shot in the leg.

He was then bundled into the boot of his car, which he bought the previous day.

The car was driven onto the nearby Ballydrain Road where he was shot in the face.

Seales, of Ballykeel Road in Hillsborough, and McCaughey, from Shackleton Walk in the West Winds Estate in Newtownards, are due to be sentenced on Friday.

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