Man will ‘kill again’ claim

There were were dramatic scenes at a court in Coleraine as the relative of a man who died after a brawl outside a Portstewart nightclub stood up in the public gallery and said she feared a man convicted of her nephew’s manslaughter “will kill again” as he was released on bail.

Tuesday, 29th December 2015, 10:00 am
Coleraine Court

The intervention came from an aunt of Trevor Spiers (28) who died after a fight outside Portstewart’s Shenanigans night club in the early hours of December 3, 2009,

On Monday December 21, Francis Paul McCormick (37), of Glebe Avenue, Coleraine, had just been sentenced to nine months in jail for seperate offences including an attack on a couple’s home but he was released on bail pending appeal.

The relative of Mr Spiers then dramatically intervened and approached District Judge Liam McNally and made reference to McCormick’s involvement in her nephew’s death.

Describing McCormick as a “high risk offender” who “will kill again” she said he should not be allowed to walk out the door.

She said her family has suffered trauma following Mr Spiers’ death.

Judge McNally said he had sentenced McCormick to nine months in the case being dealt with at the court and the defendant was entitled to have his sentence reviewed.

The judge then adjourned the court for a period.

Francis Paul McCormick’s brother John McCormick (25) was shot dead as he watched tv at home in Coleraine’s Ballysally estate in 2001.

In 2008 Francis Paul McCormick was found not guilty of two charges of attempting to murder a man and woman in Coleraine on May 21, 2005, but was jailed for other offences in relation to the incident.

McCormick had been accused of repeatedly driving a car at them in the Ashbourne Park area of Coleraine on the night in question. It was alleged during the trial that he had intended to kill both, or to seriously injure them.

In 2012 when already on parole for grievous bodily harm through dangerous driving in relation to the Ashbourne Park incident, Francis Paul McCormick was sentenced to four years and ten months for the unlawful killing of Trevor Spiers in December 2009.

Trevor Spiers was killed during a brawl outside a Portstewart night club. Francis Paul McCormick had originally been charged with murder and was told he would serve two years and ten months in prison and then be released on supervised licensed parole for the same period. At last Monday’s court Francis Paul McCormick and his nephew - Stephen McCormick (22), of Maythorn Avenue, Coleraine - were in court to be sentenced for offences which included damaging a house at Ballylagan Road, Coleraine, and also damaging three vehicles in June this year.

They smashed doors and windows and Francis Paul McCormick shouted: “I’m going to burn your house down with the kids in it”. before making off in a white van

Stephen McComick a race hate incident on the same date relating to a taxi driver in Portrush when he punched a taxi window and called the driver a “Paki b-----d”

Francis Rafferty defending Francis Paul McCormick said the murder of his brother in 2001 “had some bearing on his criminal behaviour thereafter”.

He said the father-of-six has a degenerative disease and has managed to reduce his alcohol intake. A lawyer for Stephen McCormick said his client was seven when his uncle John was “murdered in front of his eyes” and he had suffered from ADHD and attended a special school but went on to work in catering.

He said his client couldn’t remember the taxi incident but after admitting his guilt said “sorry”.

Jailing Francis Paul McCormick for nine months and Stephen McCormick for six months, Judge McNally said a young couple were “terrorised” by the attack on their home by the McCormicks who had smashed all around them outside the house after failing to smash in the front door.

Each defendant had bail fixed for appeal on the sum of £500.