Two men have been sentenced today, Friday, December 21, at Laganside Crown Court for their role in the murder of Paul McCauley in Derry.
Paul was attacked at a friend’s barbecue in the early hours of July 16, 2006 and suffered severe head injuries, leaving him in a vegetative state.
Over the next nine years Paul’s condition slowly deteriorated and Paul sadly passed away in June 2015.
Piper John McClements (28), previously known as Daryl Proctor, from Derry pleaded guilty to the murder of Paul McCauley.
Prior to Paul’s death McClements was previously charged with the attempted murder of Paul and was convicted at Derry Crown Court sitting at Belfast on February 6, 2009. He served six years in prison of a 12 year sentence.
Today he was sentenced to serve a further three years in prison for murder. Matthew Gillon (31) from Derry pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, half to be served in prison and half on licence.
An audio recording of Gillon discussing the attack has been released by the PSNI and can be listed to here.
Detective Chief Inspector, Michael Harvey said: “On 16 July 2006 Paul was with two friends at a barbeque when at around 3.00 am a group of people came out from the bushes and launched a vicious attack.
“My inquiries would indicate around six males were involved in the attack on Paul and his two friends. Paul was the most severely injured, suffering a fractured skull and bleeding to his brain. Tragically, Paul remained in a coma from this assault and passed away nine years later surrounded by his family.
“Paul was 29 years old when he was the innocent victim of this unprovoked sectarian assault from which he never regained consciousness. He was a much loved friend and family member who volunteered in his local community and his life was brought to a brutal end for no logical reason.
“I hope today’s sentencing provides some measure of comfort to Paul’s family. Piper John McClements and Matthew Gillon carried out this despicable act of violence which ultimately took Paul’s life and caused complete devastation to his loved ones.
“No one can dispute how difficult the past twelve years must have been for Paul’s family since the vicious attack but their dignity, courage and commitment to seeing justice done has never wavered.
“I want to thank my investigation team for their determination, professionalism and resilience in taking forward this challenging investigation. I also wish to thank Police Scotland and the Public Prosecution Service for their help and support during this inquiry.
“I would appeal to anyone who has any information about the other men involved in this attack to examine your consciences and do the right thing. This vicious attack was twelve years ago and Paul’s family have had to live with the terrible consequences.
"Allegiances and loyalties are likely to have changed so I would urge anyone with any information that will help us to bring everyone involved in the assault before the Courts to contact Police on 101.”