Investigation | 

Death of Victor Hamilton is second stab murder to rock Co Antrim housing estate in two years

The killing of 63-year-old follows the brutal slaying of Jason Lee Martin in 2020
Victor Hamilton (Credit: PSNI)

Victor Hamilton (Credit: PSNI)

Forensic investigators at the scene in Orkney Drive in Ballymena

Forensic investigators at the scene in Orkney Drive in Ballymena© PA

Andrew MaddenBelfast Telegraph

A suspect is being questioned by detectives in connection with the murder of a man in Ballymena.

The 29-year-old male was arrested this morning over the death of Victor Hamilton.

The body of Mr Hamilton (63) was found on the driveway of his home in Orkney Drive in the town shortly after 7.50am yesterday. Local reports said he had been stabbed.

It is the second murder in Orkney Drive in as many years. Jason Lee Martin was stabbed to death in the same area just over two years ago.

It is understood Mr Hamilton was originally from Carrickfergus and had only moved to Ballymena recently.

Forensic officers were at the scene for much of yesterday and erected a white tent at the front of the property, while cordons were placed at the front and rear of the house.

A murder investigation was launched this morning.

Forensic investigators at the scene in Orkney Drive in Ballymena

Forensic investigators at the scene in Orkney Drive in Ballymena© PA

Orkney Drive was the scene of the murder of 31-year-old father-of-two Jason Lee Martin in June 2020. He was stabbed in the leg at a house party in the early hours of the morning, with the blade severing his femoral artery and causing him to bleed to death despite attempts to save him.

A 19-year-old man was later jailed for life for Mr Martin’s murder.

A vigil in memory of Mr Hamilton is set to take place in the Ballykeel estate on Thursday evening.

TUV councillor for the area Matthew Armstrong said he was “deeply saddened” to her the news of Mr Hamilton’s death.

“Sadly the area has been no stranger to tragedy over the last number of years. My sympathies are with his family and friends,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

Independent councillor Rodney Quigley said he knows some of the Hamilton family personally.

“Victor wasn’t from Ballymena and had not been living in the area for very long, but I got to know some of his family and I would like to offer them my deepest condolences following this tragic incident,” he said.

“For any family to lose a loved one is heart-breaking and my thoughts are with all who knew Victor. He didn’t deserve to lose his life in such a tragic way.”

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Noel Williams also expressed his condolences.

He said: "I am deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death of Victor Hamilton in Ballymena.

"My thoughts are with his family and friends, and I wish everyone connected with Victor strength and comfort at this difficult time.

"I appeal for anybody with any information regarding this sad loss of life to contact the PSNI."

SDLP councillor Eugene Reid was at the scene yesterday evening.

“I have spoken to residents, who have been expressing sadness and concern,” he said.

“All I can do at this time is pass on my condolences, my thoughts and my prayers to this man’s friends and family.”

Alliance councillor John Hyland appealed for anyone with information on the murder to contact the PSNI.

“This is a horrifying discovery and my sympathies are with the loved ones of Mr Hamilton. The whole community are in a state of shock,” he said.

This afternoon, detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team arrested a 29-year-old man on suspicion of Mr Hamilton’s murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil McGuinness said: “The man was arrested just after 11.30am this morning, in the Spring Meadows area of Armagh. He is currently being questioned in the Serious Crime suite at Musgrave Police Station in Belfast.

“While our investigation is ongoing, I would still urge to anyone with information or anyone who was in the Orkney Drive area of Ballymena on Tuesday night, July 26, into the early hours of Wednesday morning to contact detectives.”

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