Derry man jailed for killing of Gerard Quinn

Gerard Quinn.
Gerard Quinn.

An 18-year-old Derry man was today sentenced to six years in prison, three of which will be served on licence, for killing Gerard Quinn and injuring his twin brother following an altercation in the city last year.

The defendant, who was 16 at the time of the incident, was initially charged with murder.

He pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 24-year-old Gerard Quinn at Belfast’s Laganside Crown Court in May this year.

He also admitted wounding Gerard’s twin brother Michael Quinn.

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey, from PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch, said: “Our thoughts today are very much with the Quinn family who are still coming to terms with the loss of their loved one.

“Gerard was a beloved son and brother and a doting father to his three-year-old daughter. While I hope today’s sentencing goes some way to bringing them some closure, they will still face a lifetime without their loved one – a life sentence.

“And let’s not forget that at only 24 years of age, Gerard Quinn was denied a future with his family and his daughter, not to mention all of the other important life events he will now not get to experience.

“Police received a report shortly before 10.30pm on May 21st last year that Gerard had been assaulted. He was taken to hospital where, sadly, he later died.”

DCI Harvey continued: “Shortly before 10.30pm an altercation occurred between Gerard’s twin brother Michael and another male outside an address in Milldale Crescent where the defendant had been socialising. An argument soon escalated into a physical fight which spiralled to involve Gerard and the defendant, who had armed himself with an empty bottle of alcohol.

“He stabbed the father-of-one in the neck and tragically Gerard died from these injuries. Now a small child faces a lifetime without her father.

“Gerard’s twin brother also sustained minor injuries. And although Michael lived, he now has a lifetime dealing with the psychological scars of the night his twin brother was killed.

“I hope today’s sentence acts as a deterrent to others who may think about getting involved in violence. The consequences are plain to see.”

Chf. Insp. Harvey said he wished to acknowledge the “dignity the Quinn family has shown throughout this investigation” and also thanked members of the community who came forward and provided police with information and assistance.

“Finally I would like to thank all the first responders and hospital staff who fought to save Gerard and my investigative team for their commitment and professionalism throughout this inquiry,” he added.