This letter is in response to what I view as the travesty that took place in relation to the sentencing of Paul Greatbanks, the vile murderer of my brother Paddy Harkin.
To say most of Paddy’s family is devastated would be a gross understatement. I just don’t understand how a vile killer could get the minimum sentence for the heinous crime he committed; it is beyond belief.
What justice has been served? Very little if any, when a person could murder someone and attempt to murder a second and only get 16 years.
The judge in his own words said: “The defendant bears full responsibility for these violent and vicious attacks resulting in the deceased’s death and Paul Mythen’s profound physical and mental incapacity. Effectively, two innocent, decent men have had their lives, in one case ended, and in the other case destroyed by the defendant.”
The killing of my brother was described by Mr Justice Horner as an act of “unspeakable brutality”. The judge said he took into account that Mr. Greatbanks was both remorseful and apologetic and that he was an alcoholic. My question is, when was this animal ever remorseful as I never saw it in court? Just who was he remorseful to, some guy mopping the floors? Also, most of this family has never received an apology or reason for what he did.
For the judge to say he took into account that this person was an alcoholic, is utter nonsense. What kind of message does it send out, that if you drink too much and kill someone, the courts won’t go as hard on you?
There is no question that this person should have got life in prison and the thought that he will some day be free should frighten society because mark my words he is not remorseful and may think nothing about killing someone again.
Although there was no justice for you Paddy, remember, you were loved by your family and we will never let your memory fade.
Jean Clarkston (nee Harkin),