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family hits out Relative of man beaten to death says it's 'inevitable' killers would break law again

He was out on licence for killing poor Andrew but the judge decided not to revoke his licence – instead he got a suspended prison sentence!"

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Christopher Wright, being led into court charged with the murder of  Andrew Lorimer in 2012

Christopher Wright, being led into court charged with the murder of Andrew Lorimer in 2012

Christopher Wright, being led into court charged with the murder of Andrew Lorimer in 2012

A relative of man brutally beaten to death with a hammer says it was “inevitable” the killers would strike again.

Julie Lorimer spoke to Sunday World after it emerged killer Christopher Wright had breached his licence by assaulting another man after leading cops on a drunken car chase in which he burst through a police stinger checkpoint.

The 29-year-old, of Seagoe Park, Portadown, was sentenced to ten years in prison in 2013 for the manslaughter of Julie’s brother-in-law Andrew Lorimer.

But the callous killer was released in 2018 as he only had to serve five years in prison with the other five served on licence.

Last month Wright embarked on a drunken rampage which saw him punch a man who’d come to help him after he’d been chased by police and crashed into a number of cars.

“Christopher Wright could have killed a second person that night he was caught drink driving,” says Julie, speaking on behalf of her husband David, who is Andrew’s brother.

“Not only did he get behind the wheel of a car while drunk he assaulted someone who was trying to help him. What kind of person does that?

“He drove around the place like a drunken lunatic and crashed into cars, he could easily have taken out a young family or something.

“He was out on licence for killing poor Andrew but the judge decided not to revoke his licence – instead he got a suspended prison sentence! A suspended sentence to the likes of him is a nothing sentence. He should be behind bars.

“We were told being on licence meant something – that he’d go back to jail if he reoffended – but it appears that’s not the case.”

Forty-three-year-old Andrew Lorimer, who lived alone, was found dead in his flat in Lurgan in February 2012 by a burglar.

He had lain dead, or dying, for two days. An estimated 48 hours earlier, he had been kicked, battered and beaten with a hammer in his home.

As well as Wright two other men, Richard Chester (23) and 20-year-old James Jordan, both from Lurgan – copped a plea of manslaughter in Craigavon Crown Court.

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Julie Lorimer, spoke to the Sunday World of the lasting effect of the murder of her brother in-law Andrew.

Julie Lorimer, spoke to the Sunday World of the lasting effect of the murder of her brother in-law Andrew.

Julie Lorimer, spoke to the Sunday World of the lasting effect of the murder of her brother in-law Andrew.

All three were originally charged with murder, but the Lorimer family now say that was changed to manslaughter ‘at the eleventh hour’, and that was done without them being consulted.

“How can you gang up and attack a man with a hammer and it not be murder?” Julie asks.

Now she says the same justice system the family say let them down by not proceeding with murder charges has badly let them down again.

“I don’t know what the courts are thinking about but I don’t think they are in touch with reality. This non-sentence just sends a message to people like Christopher Wright that he can do whatever he likes.

“He’s only 29 and looks like his five years in jail hasn’t taught him anything. It was inevitable he would offend again.

“And he’ll do it again, I honestly think he and the other two who killed Andrew must have been born evil.

“When one of them kills or maims again someone in authority should have to answer for it.”

Wright appeared at Craigavon Magistrates Court recently where it emerged he crashed his Volkswagen Golf and then decked a ‘good Samaritan’ who went to help, before running off on June 20.

He pleaded guilty to failing to stop for police, failing to stop at a damage-only accident, common assault, driving with excess alcohol and dangerous driving on June 20 this year.

Wright had been spotted by a member of the public driving “all over the road” and when police tried to stop him he drove straight through their checkpoint, slashing his tyres in the process.

The court heard that at one stage, Wright drove into an orchard and lost the police. The vehicle was spotted again after it collided with a police vehicle causing minor damage to the paintwork but once more, Wright managed to get away.

He crashed the car, however, punching a passer-by who went to help and the court heard that when eventually arrested, Wright was found to be more than twice the limit.

Julie says Andrew’s killing has changed her husband forever.

“He’s not the same man, it’s changed him as a person and taking such a heavy toll,” says Julie.

“Andrew was a harmless big fella, he was a Spurs fan and my David is Liverpool mad. He was due to come to our house to watch the Liverpool v Spurs match on the Monday night.

“Him and David were very close. David was his big brother and he feels like he failed in protecting him.

“You never heard Andrew swearing or anything at anyone or talking bad about anybody. He was a gentle soul.

“We still don’t know the full details if what happened to Andrew but we know he tried to bandage himself after the attack.

“And we have never had as much as an apology from the animals who did this.”

In court last month Wright claimed he only sped off because he had panicked, knowing himself he had breached his licence.

District Judge Amanda Brady said it had been “appalling driving and there is no excuse for it” and sentenced him to five months in prison suspended for three years. He was disqualified from driving for three years and was ordered to pay a fine of £150.

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