Convicted killer sent back to jail

A man jailed for the manslaughter of Derry musician Jim Gilchrist has been sent back to prison for not complying with probation.

Daniel Young, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to ten years detention and two years probation for the manslaugher of Jim Gilchrist in September 2005. The 26-year-old was released from custody on July 7, 2012.

On Friday, prosecuting counsel told Mr Justice Treacy that since his release Young has been convicted of several offences and is awaiting trial on a charge of bringing drugs into Magilligan Prison.

Young had also failed to reside at an address agreed with the probation service and probation were ‘very pessimistic’ that Young would adhere to any conditions imposed by the court.

Defence barrister Eoghan Devlin called the defendant’s mother to give evidence on his behalf and she pleaded with the court not to send her son back to prison.

Young’s mother was asked about an incident when she called the police in August of this year. She said that there had been tensions between her partner and her son and Young had ‘lashed out in a rage’ at the way she was being treated.

She said he had ‘a protective nature’ at which point Mr. Justice Tracey said: “It’s a pity this protective nature does not extend to the musician whose death he was responsible for.”

The 26-year-old’s mother said that her son had ‘demons’ and he was ‘very sorry for his actions.’

She added: “I feel for the Gilchrist family but our family has suffered over the last seven years and there have been several attacks on his father and his sister.”

The judge said that the probation service did not make applications to breach someone like this ‘lightly’.

He said that Young had been ‘extremely fortunate’ that a plea to manslaughter had been accepted, especially in a case where Mr. Gilchrist had been beaten unconscious and then thrown into the River Foyle.

He added: “You would think he would keep his nose completely clean.”

Revoking the probation order and imposing a jail sentence of 18 months, Mr Justice Treacy said it is clear the 26-year-old ‘hasn’t learned anything’.