28/06/2005

Brutal killer sentenced to at least 22 years

A Co Armagh man convicted of murdering a loyalist drug dealer has been told he must serve at least 22 years in jail.

Robert Young, 41, from Ulsterville Park in Portadown, was convicted last week of killing Jim Johnston, 45, a member of the loyalist Red Hand Commando, outside his home at Crawfordsburn, Co Down, in May 2003.

During today’s proceedings at Belfast Crown Court, Mr Justice Higgins said Young was guilty of a "cold blooded, brutal, callous murder".

His two co-accused, Lorraine Young, 39, of Church Hill, Holywood, and Susan Ferguson, 36, from West Link in Holywood, received suspended jail sentences for lesser offences in relation to the case at Belfast Crown Court on Tuesday.

Lorraine Young was freed after her nine month jail term was suspended for a year for providing him with a false alibi for the time of the murder.

Susan Ferguson was also freed after her one year jail term for possessing a pistol magazine was suspended for two years .

(MB/SP)

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