29/02/2008

Killer Of Ex Soldier Sentenced

A Co Antrim man who stabbed a former soldier in the heart during a street brawl has been jailed for eight years.

The victim was Trevor Halliday, from the Ravenhill area of east Belfast, who sustained two stab wounds, one to the heart, after violence erupted in a Carnmoney street during the early hours of June 19 2005.

Paul Davison (28), a father-of-two from Abbey Green, admitted a charge of manslaughter and last week Belfast Crown Court heard how the occupants of two properties at a quiet cul-de-sac, Pembrooke Court went out onto the street following a lightning storm.

The occupants of one house, including Mr Halliday, were enjoying a family party, whilst the group in the neighbouring property, which included Davison, had been out drinking.

When a fight broke out between the two parties Davison went back to the house he had been drinking in before returning to the street armed with a kitchen knife.

Court was told that as Mr Halliday went to help a friend who was pinned on the ground he was seen to punch Davison who in turn stabbed him with the knife.

A defence lawyer said the incident had had a profound effect on Davison, claiming that he was filled with "genuine remorse" and had even tried to take his own life several occasions since the killing.

The judge, Mr Justice Deeny, said alcohol had played a role in the events leading to Mr Halliday's death.

"If a person is intoxicated this may well explain what they do, but it does not excuse it," he told the court.

Davison also admitted causing actual bodily harm to another man whom he kicked in the head during the brawl.

He was sentenced to eight years in prison and will spend two years on probation upon his release.

(BMcC)

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