Farmer found guilty of Comber murder

Published Monday, 17 February 2014
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Co Down farmer Jimmy Seales has been found guilty of murdering Comber man Philip Strickland.

Following a six-week trial held at Belfast crown Court, the jury took over six hours to reach a unanimous guilty verdict against 56-year old Seales.

Mr Strickland, a 37-year old farm labourer, died on the outskirts of Comber on 11 January, 2012.

He was shot in the leg at a yard on the Ballyglighorn Road before being bundled into the boot of his own car and driven a short distance to the Ballydrain Road, where he was shot in the face at point blank range.

The father-of-four, from Ballykeel Road in Hillsborough, has always denied being present.

However, several witnesses including his son Ian Weir, placed him at the scene, armed with a shotgun. As well as being found guilty of murder, the jury also found Seales guilty of possession of a firearm with intent.

His two sons - Ian Weir 29, and from Derryboye Road in Killinchy and his brother Jason had already pleaded guilty to the murder.

Seales' co-accused - 26-year old Stephen Charles McCaughey, from Shackleton Walk in Newtownards - was also charged with murder and possession of a firearm.

The jury did not reach a verdict on McCaughey on Monday and will return to Belfast Crown Court for further deliberations on Tuesday morning.

© UTV News
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