19/01/2012

Seven Charged With Strickland Murder

A fourth man has been charged with the murder of Phillip Strickland in Comber last week, bringing the total to seven.

The 36-year-old was found in a car on Quarry Road, off the Ballydrain Road, near Comber on Wednesday last. He had been shot several times and was declared dead in hospital a short time later.

Stephen Charles McCaughey, 24, from Shackleton Road, Newtownards, is accused of murder. He is the fourth man to be accused of the killing.

Meanwhile John Anthony Lawlor, 42, is charged with perverting the course of justice and making a false statement.

Yesterday 21-year-old Stacey McCaughey from Dunlisk Way in Comber was also charged with perverting the course of justice and making a false statement.

Earlier in the week Jimmy Seales, a 54-year-old farmer from the Ballykeel road near Hillsborough, was accused of killing Mr Strickland and threatening to kill another man.

His sons, Jason Weir, 24, from Raffery Road near Killinchy and Ian Weir, 26, from Derryboye Road, Killinchy, are also charged with murder.

Another man appeared in court in connection with the murder. The 44-year-old has been charged with assisting offenders.

This amounts to seven people having been charged in connection with the murder. Police are investigating whether the killing is connected to a criminal feud. Mr Strickland, who was from Comber, but lived in East Belfast, was known to the police

(LB/DW)

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