12 year sentence for shooting and arson incident

The imposition of a 12 year jail sentence for the perpetrator of a shooting and arson incident four years ago has been welcomed by police.

Detectives from Strand Road welcomed the sentence handed down to 54-year old Robert Gillespie.

Gillespie received a 12-year sentence at Derry Crown Court, sitting in Coleraine, on Friday, 26 August, half of which is to be served in jail and the remainder on licence.

He was convicted of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life during trial earlier this year, and pleaded guilty to the offences of arson, criminal damage, threats to kill and dangerous driving.

Man sentenced

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Detective Inspector Stephanie Finlay from Strand Road Criminal Investigation Branch said: "Gillespie's actions were calculated and callous, and there is no doubt that he set out to cause harm on the morning of Tuesday, 24th July 2018.

"It is only by sheer luck the victim, or indeed anyone in Sevenoaks - a residential area - wasn't seriously injured, or killed as a result of this reckless and sinister incident.

"Our team of detectives have worked tirelessly on this investigation and we hope today's sentencing gives some degree of comfort to the victim. We also hope it reassures victims, and the wider community, that when a crime is committed we will do all we can to ensure those responsible are brought before the court."