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Grandfather killer convicted of 'attempted' cannabis possession

Eamonn Coyle
Eamonn Coyle

Grandfather killer Eamonn Coyle showed what a ‘dope’ he is when he was convicted this week of “attempted” cannabis possession.

The 23-year-old who killed his own grandad for just £80 was back in court this week after cops found what they thought was cannabis in his pocket.

But after the clear bag, which had a green substance inside, was sent for forensic analysis it emerged that experts were unable to find out exactly what it was.

Coyle served just two years for killing his 78-year-old grandfather Francis O’Neill seven years ago with a knife.

He strangled and stabbed him so he could rob him of money to pay his rent.

Coyle has not taken the fact that he only served two years in jail as a chance to rehabilitate himself and has been a regular at Omagh Magistrates Court since his release.

Last Tuesday he was back in the dock where he laughed and joked with a female pal.

Despite facing a further serious conviction he acted like he didn’t have a care in the world.

At one point he started taking selfie photos with his mate until a court official warned him this wasn’t allowed.

He was also warned about his language in the courtroom.

Police searched Coyle in March this year. In the pocket of his hoodie they found a clear bag with 0.1 grammes of a green substance. 

Police tests were inconclusive. “The substance may well have been cannabis, but no one knows what it is,” a prosecution lawyer said.

Coyle pleaded guilty to attempted possession. 

“The best I can say is that he has no relevant conviction for the last six years,” a defence lawyer said.

Judge Bernie Kelly fined Coyle of Drumlegagh Road South, Drumquin, £250 and imposed the offender levy.

Four years ago Coyle was sentenced to eight years in jail for a robbery on a shop where he brutally attacked a teenage employee.

He was unanimously convicted in March of the February 11 robbery in 2012, by a jury prevented of hearing of his 17 previous convictions, including assault and criminal damage to a police car during his arrest in a Campsie Road bar in the early hours of the following morning.

Coyle, originally from Holmview Terrace, Omagh, was just 16 when in April 2009, he broke into the home of his grandfather.

The teen stabbed him in the neck but was initially given just a year’s detention for the manslaughter but following complaints it was later increased to two.

At the time of the Omagh shop robbery, Coyle had been out on licence for 11 weeks. However, in October 2012 he was returned to Hydebank Young Offenders’ Centre to serve the remainder of his sentence.

Last year he appeared in court charged with threatening to burn down a house with the family inside it.

During that hearing police described him as a “violent offender who had 17 convictions”.

In one period he had amassed 11 convictions in an 11-week period out of prison.

By Steven Moore and Anton McCabe

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