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Found Guilty Newry knife killer Daniel Carroll gets life sentence for murder of Brian Phelan

During his trial Carroll claimed three paramilitaries had stabbed Mr Phelan, but he was afraid to name them

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Daniel James Carroll was given a life sentence for the murder of Brian Phelan

Daniel James Carroll was given a life sentence for the murder of Brian Phelan

Daniel James Carroll was given a life sentence for the murder of Brian Phelan

A kidnapper turned knife killer was handed a life sentence today after a jury convicted him of murder.

The Newry Crown Court jury of six men and five women deliberated for an hour and 15 minutes before returning a unanimous guilty verdict that 30-year-old Daniel Carroll had murdered Brian Phelan on 26 July 2018.

With around two dozen observers watching proceedings by video link, Carroll, originally from Newry but with an address at Edward Street in Portadown, slumped a little as he stood in the dock as the damning verdict was announced.

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Amanda O’Riordan with a photograph of her partner, Brian Phelan, 33 from Bessbrook, Co Armagh, who died after being stabbed in Newry in July, 2018. Pic: Pacemaker

Amanda O’Riordan with a photograph of her partner, Brian Phelan, 33 from Bessbrook, Co Armagh, who died after being stabbed in Newry in July, 2018. Pic: Pacemaker

Amanda O’Riordan with a photograph of her partner, Brian Phelan, 33 from Bessbrook, Co Armagh, who died after being stabbed in Newry in July, 2018. Pic: Pacemaker

Amanda O’Riordan, the mother of Mr Phelan’s two children, stepped forward towards the dock from the public gallery, shouting at Carroll and as she was escorted from the courtroom by uniformed officers, shouting and cheering could be heard coming from the public foyer just outside.

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Brian Phelan

Brian Phelan

Brian Phelan

Addressing the defendant directly, Judge Gordon Kerr QC told him: “Daniel James Carroll you have been found guilty by the jury of murder. At law there is only one sentence I can pass and I therefore sentence you to live imprisonment.”

Thanking the jury for their time and dedication to the “taxing case,” the judge remanded Carroll back into custody and said he would fix the minimum tariff the convicted killer must spend in jail before he is eligible to be released on licence on 1 October.

During the trial, which started on Monday of last week, the jury heard that for an unknown reason but possibly over a minor debt, Carroll stabbed Mr Phelan five times - three to the neck and two to his chest, at the top of the Carrivekeeney Road in Newry before leaving him to bleed to death in a nearby garden.

In an account clearly rejected by the jury, Carroll claimed that three men he knew but could not name due to paramilitary threats against him and has family, had come over Camlough Mountain and launched the murderous knife attack before they left.

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