‘Drug dealer would have got longer’ Harkin family slam sentence for brother’s murderer

Lucia Barrow pictured with the remains of her brother Patrick Harkin with sisters (from left) Jacqueline and Betty Harkin before Mr Harkin was laid to rest at the end of March
Lucia Barrow pictured with the remains of her brother Patrick Harkin with sisters (from left) Jacqueline and Betty Harkin before Mr Harkin was laid to rest at the end of March

The family of murder victim Paddy Harkin today accused police in failing to do their job as they hit out at the sentence his killer Paul Greatbanks was given this morning.

“If the PSNI had done their job in the first place my brother would still be walking the streets of Derry now,” claimed Paddy’s devastated older brother Hugh Harkin.

Commenting on the 14-year minimum Greatbanks received as the tariff for his sentence, Mr Harkin added that he was “disgusted, it’s not a sentence at all for murder....its not a sentence at all.

“Our family are in bits here. He will be out in 14 years,” said Mr Harkin who claimed the family had been told Greatbanks would have received a tariff of “25 years that what we were told”.

Mr Harkin claimed that his family “will never get over this ... that’s just the way it is... while he will be free to walk the streets again. We will be suffered from this forever.”.

As he spoke his weeping sisters claimed that if Greatbanks had been a drug dealler he would have received a higher sentence.

“I hope he rots in hell,” said his sister Jacquelane, who along with her sisters Lucia and Betty echoed their brother Paddy’s views that “we’ll never ever get over it. We are all really really shocked”.

“He should not have gotten off the day the way he did .... you get more for drugs,” they added.