Irishman slaughtered two pals with Samurai sword
A 47-year-old man has been jailed for life after pleading guilty to what was described as the savage killing of two friends with a samurai-type sword.
Dressed in a suit, Albert Armstrong of Mahee Close in Belfast's Belvoir estate, spoke only three times at Belfast Crown Court, once to confirm his identity, then to plead "guilty", as each charge of murder was put to him.
Armstrong attacked veteran UDA man Colin 'Bap' Lyndsay and Stanley Wightman with the sword at Mr Lyndsay's home last July.
Mr Justice Treacy told Armstrong that under law the sentence was one of life imprisonment and that was the sentence he would pass.
He added that a tariff hearing would be heard hopefully by the end of the month.
That hearing will determine the minimum sentence he must serve before being considered for release.
Defence barrister Gavin Duffy QC said it was always indicated Armstrong accepted his responsibility for the killings, but what was at issue was his mental health.
He added that having evaluated reports on his mental state, he would ask for Armstrong to be re-arraigned.
Following Armstrong's guilty pleas the lawyer said he would make the various reports available to the court and the probation service in an effort to expedite matters.
Prosecution QC Neil Connor said victim impact reports may also be provided from close family members of both men and how their deaths have affected them.
No details surrounding what happened on July 8 last year were given during the short hearing, which had been listed only for "mention".
At the time it was reported that police found 47-year-old Mr Lyndsay dead in the living room of his Kirkiston Walk home in the Belvoir estate.
Beside the father-of-two was badly wounded 52-year-old Mr Wightman.
He was reported to have lost an arm in the savage attack and died in hospital from his injuries two days later.
Both men were said to have suffered severe wounds inflicted by a Swamurai-type sword.
It was also reported the bloodied murder weapon which belonged to Mr Lyndsay was allegedly later recovered from Armstrong's blue Mazda 6 car.
Mr Lyndsay was a close friend of UDA boss Jackie McDonald who went to the scene of the killings after he heard of the attack, but was not allowed inside.
He said at the time: "I was told there was a lot of blood."
Another source described it as like "a scene from a Hollywood movie".
It is believed that the three men had been drinking together before the sword was produced.
The incident was not believed to be linked to any dispute or feud within loyalism.