'˜It's reassuring that the file remains open'

The heartbroken father of Derry man, Paul McCauley, has described the sentences handed down to two of those involved in his brutal killing, as being 'on the low side.'

Wednesday, 26th December 2018, 7:06 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:53 am
Jim McCauley with a picture of his murdered son, Paul.

However, Jim McCauley said he was reassured that the police file will remain open after the sentencing of Piper John McClements and Matthew Brian Gillon on Friday last.

Speaking to the ‘Journal,’ Mr. McCauley paid tribute to his “precious” son who passed away in 2015, nine years after the horrific attack which had left him in a vegetative state.

The two men convicted in relation to the July, 2006, attack were sentenced at the Crown Court. McClements will spend at least another three years in jail for murder having previously received a 12-year sentence in February, 2009,for causing GBH with intent to Paul, which Mr. Justice Colton took into consideration when sentencing.

PACEMAKER BELFAST 18/07/2015 Derry Man Paul McCauley (Before the attack) who died last month after an attack almost a decade ago. Paul McCauley, a 38-year-old Catholic, spent almost a decade in care after he was attacked by loyalists at a barbecue in the Waterside area of Londonderry in July 2006. Piper John McClements has been charged with the murder Photo Pacemaker Press

Meanwhile, Matthew Brian Gillon (31), will spend half of a 10-years sentence for manslaughter behind bars, the remaining five on licence. Both McClements and Gillon had pleaded guilty on the grounds of joint enterprise.

Paul McCauley was attending a barbecue with friends when they were set upon in an unprovoked attack by a gang of up to 10 loyalists in the Chapel Road area. A report by the Independent Monitoring Commission later linked the attack to the UDA.

Mr. McCauley said: “The sentencing is, I feel, on the low side. Unfortunately, because of the differences in the law between here and Britain, it was within the parameters for the judge to make his decision.

“We felt that from the comments made in the tariff submissions, that the sentencing could tend to be towards the lower end. Elements of this were that McClements was just a few weeks short of his 16th birthday when the attack occurred plus the mention of a letter of remorse, which had never been presented to the family.

“McClements didn’t even glance at our family when that was being read out. They just looked at the floorboards.”

“Responding to an audio recording of Gillon who stated: “I don’t regret anything,” which was released by the PSNI, Mr. McCauley said: “I think the audio recording illustrates the lack of sincerity of that particular individual, having made such a statement a number of years after the event.”