Fatal stabbing | 

Two brothers sentenced to life for 2018 knife murder of Karol Kelly (35) in Derry

Gary (25), and Sean (23), Anderson were convicted of murdering the thirty-five-year-old father of five
Karol Kelly

Karol Kelly

George Jackson

Three men have been found guilty of charges linked to the murder of Karol Kelly, who was stabbed to death in the Rosemount area of Derry in the early hours of March 4, 2018.

Following a month-long trial at Derry Crown Court sitting in Coleraine, brothers Gary (25), and Sean (23), Anderson were convicted of murdering the thirty-five-year-old father of five outside their home at Grafton Street. Both received an automatic sentence of life imprisonment.

Their co-defendant Michael Dunlop, (21), from Fern Park was found not guilty of murdering Mr Kelly but guilty of attempted grievous bodily harm on him with intent. Dunlop was also acquitted of attempting to dispose of two knives following the murder.

The jury foreman told Judge Philip Babington that all the verdicts, which were reached following just over four hours of deliberations, were unanimous.

Mr Kelly, who sustained two stab wounds to the chest and one to the abdomen, had both cocaine and ecstasy in his system on the night he was murdered. One of the knife wounds perforated his aorta causing massive bleeding and his rapid death.

Jurors were told during the trial that because of his drugs addiction, Mr Kelly's lifestyle had been chaotic for a number of years.

Just minutes before his death Mr Kelly had been involved in a violent confrontation both inside and outside the Andersons' family home in Grafton Street.

Prosecution barrister Liam McCollum told the jury of eight men and four women that following their arrests all three defendants had made “self-serving and cowardly statements to save their own skin”.

He said prior to the incident Mr Kelly, together with another man, had entered the Andersons' family home “reprehensibly and he confronted the Andersons”. After he left the house Mr Kelly was pursued by the two brothers and in an ensuing struggle he was brought to the ground and stabbed.

Mr McCollum said following the murder, while they were standing outside their Grafton Street home, “Sean turned to Gary and said — it was me and not you”.

Judge Babington told the Anderson brothers that they had been found guilty of murder by a jury following a trial.

“Under the law there is only one sentence available to me and that is one of life imprisonment. I impose that sentence now”, he said.

Judge Babington ordered the preparation of pre-sentence reports for Anderson brothers for a tariff hearing when he'll set a minimum time they will have to serve in prison, before they can be considered for release. That hearing is expected to take place in the autumn.

In relation to the defendant Dunlop, who spent two years in custody on the charges before he was granted bail, Judge Babington released him on conditional bail pending sentencing.

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