Northern Ireland

Paul McCauley: Pair jailed over sectarian killing in Londonderry

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Media caption'I don't regret anything' says one of Paul McCauley's killers

Two men have been jailed after pleading guilty to killing Londonderry man Paul McCauley who died from his injuries nine years after a sectarian attack.

Piper John McClements, previously known as Daryl Proctor, from the Fountain area of Derry, must serve a minimum term of three years in jail for murder.

Matthew Brian Gillon, of Bonds Street, Derry, was sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter, five of those in prison.

Police have released a tape of Gillon saying: "I don't regret anything."

Gillon also described the attack as "exciting" in the recording, which was released to the media after Friday's sentencing.

Image caption Paul McCauley was left in a persistent vegetative state after the attack

The 31-year-old had earlier pleaded guilty to manslaughter and to assaulting two of Mr McCauley's friends.

All three victims had been attending a summer barbeque when a number of men launched the attack.

Mr McCauley, a 29-year-old civil servant, suffered serious head injuries in the assault at Chapel Road in the early hours of 16 July 2006.

The father-of-one was left in a persistent vegetative state after what police said was an unprovoked sectarian attack at the barbecue in the Waterside.

He died in a care facility in June 2015.

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Media captionPaul McCauley's family left disappointed over his killers' sentence

In the audio recording released by the PSNI on Friday, Gillon is heard describing how he grabbed a big lump of wood and said "let's go" as he launched the attack.

"So I jumped over the top, turned out there's only three of them so I put the three of them down," he added.

Gillon also admits on tape that he did not know his victims, saying they were just "boys from the other side, they weren't anybody special that I would know".

The brief recording ends with Gillon saying: "So, eh, yes it was exciting but obviously that's all in my past now, I'm not interested in that anymore.

"I know I have to deal with what I've done in the past but I'm happy for that, I don't regret anything."

McClements' case is one of the first of its kind in Northern Ireland because he has already served a jail term under his former name of Daryl Proctor.

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Image caption Piper John McClements, pictured at a 2015 court appearance, pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial

That was in relation to the original attack on Mr McCauley.

Mr McCauley's father, Jim, said he was "disappointed" by the sentences.

"Unfortunately, laws here tend towards lesser penalties than those in the rest of the UK.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Paul McCauley died in a care facility in 2015 after being attacked nine years earlier

"It was a crime of the utmost cruelty that can only be fully understood to those close to Paul and I acknowledge the support of the family as well as the hospital and care professionals who worked tirelessly with Paul in the nine years before his death," he added.

Det Ch Insp Michael Harvey said Mr McCauley was "was the innocent victim" of an "unprovoked sectarian assault".

"My inquiries would indicate around six males were involved in the attack on Paul and his two friends."

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Media captionDet Ch Insp Michael Harvey said the attack on Paul McCauley was completely unprovoked.

He praised Mr McCauley's family for their "dignity, courage and commitment to seeing justice done".

"I hope today's sentencing provides some measure of comfort to Paul's family," he said.

"Piper John McClements and Matthew Gillon carried out this despicable act of violence which ultimately took Paul's life and caused complete devastation to his loved ones," he said.

Det Ch Insp Harvey urged anyone with information about the 2006 attack to come forward.

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