Devlin killer jailed for 30 years

Nigel Brown, 26, and Gary Taylor, 23, were found guilty of murder

The man who stabbed 15-year-old schoolboy Thomas Devlin to death has been jailed for 30 years at Belfast Crown Court.

Gary Taylor, 23, Mountcollyer Avenue, Belfast was convicted of stabbing the teenager to death in August 2005.

His accomplice, Nigel Brown, 26, of Whitewell Road, was jailed for 22 years for his part in the killing.

At an earlier hearing in April, a judge had warned Taylor that he might never see freedom.

He told him that he would have "a long way to go" before convincing a parole board to release him.

Thomas Devlin and his friends were attacked as they walked home along the Somerton Road in the north of the city on a summer evening, having bought sweets in a local garage.

The schoolboy tried to run away from his attackers but was pulled off a wall and stabbed nine times with a knife.

Taylor was 18 years old at the time of the killing and his co-accused Nigel Brown was 22.

At the April hearing, the court was told that Taylor had deeply sectarian attitudes and a history of offending against members of the Catholic community

Thomas Devlin

At an earlier hearing, the court was told that Taylor had carried the knife which is believed to have come from Brown’s kitchen.

During a lengthy trial, the question of whether the murder had been motivated by sectarianism was never introduced to the jury.

But on 30 April, Mr Justice McLaughlin referred to a pre-sentence report produced on Brown which indicated that sectarianism had in fact been the motive.

Taylor has 19 convictions, Brown has 72, for offences like assault, affray and riotous behaviour.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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