Malcolm McKeown murder: Andrew Martin given life sentence

A 28-year old man has been given a life sentence after admitting to “aiding and abetting” the murder of Malcolm McKeown.

Mr McKeown, 54, was shot as he sat in a BMW parked at the back of a service station in Waringstown in August 2019.

Four men were charged with murder and a trial began last week.

On Monday, Gavan Duffy KC asked that one of the men, Andrew Thomas Kenneth Martin, be rearraigned on the murder charge.

When asked how he pleaded to the charge, Martin, from Bridge Street in Banbridge, replied “guilty to aiding and abetting”.

“As a result of your plea of guilty to murder, there is only one sentence that I can impose and that is a sentence of life imprisonment,” said Mr Justice Fowler.

A date is to be set for a tariff hearing in due course.

When the non-jury hearing was opened in Belfast Crown Court last week, prosecutors made the case that Martin was one of two men captured on CCTV in Lurgan fleeing from a burned-out Passat believed to have been used in the murder.

Mr Martin’s three co-accused – Jake O’Brien, 29, from Rectory Road in Lurgan, Stevie Lee Watson, 35, from Princeton Avenue in Lurgan and Simon Smyth, 34, from Hazelgrove Avenue in Lurgan deny murdering Mr McKeown.

In light of Martin’s plea, prosecutor Ciaran Murphy KC asked for the case to be adjourned until Tuesday morning.

This request was granted.

Source link