26/11/2008

Jailed Killer Warranted 'Severe Punishment'

A Ballymurphy killer has been handed an 11-year jail sentence.

Francisco Antonio Notarantonio, 21, of Whitecliff Parade, Belfast was jailed for the manslaughter of Gerard Devlin whose death was witnessed by both his partner and the victim's six children.

Mr Justice Stephens described how Mr Devlin was stabbed in the back as his family looked on at Whitecliff Parade in west Belfast in February 2006

As they tried to comfort him, he died, the judge said on Tuesday.

Addressed the killer, he said: "They witnessed, as they comforted him as he died, your complete inhumanity, your destruction of their partner, their father, their family."

He said the offences warranted "severe punishment" to send a clear message to others involved in violence.

Four other members of the Notorantonio family were charged with affray.
News Image
Christopher Notorantonio, 53, of Whitecliff Parade, received a one-year suspended sentence.

His 24-year-old son, William, also of Whitecliff Parade, was jailed for two years, as were Paul Burns, 24, of Dermott Hill Park, and Antony Notorantonio, 50, of no fixed abode.

Mr Justice Stephens said the stabbing was "damaging and distressing" to Mr Devlin's family.

However, he accepted that the stabbing was "spontaneous and impulsive" and was in the context of a long-standing feud, but he said the fall-out had been felt by a whole community.

He told all the defendants: "Your despicable crimes added to the conflagration with serious effects on the wider community and ongoing lawless incidents in the area."

See: Ballymurphy Murder Accused Remanded

(BMcC)

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