Son of accused denies firing fatal shot

Published Thursday, 23 January 2014
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A man, who has already pleaded guilty to the murder of Philip Strickland in Comber two years ago, has denied he was the one who fired the fatal shot.

Son of accused denies firing fatal shot
Jimmy Seales denies murdering Philip Strickland. (© Pacemaker)

Ian Weir has placed his father, Jimmy Seales, at the scene of the murder and said he was armed with a shotgun.

The body of 37-year-old Philip Strickland was found in his car on the Ballydrain Road just outside the Co Down town.

He had been shot in the leg and the face with a shotgun.

Jimmy Seales, 56, from the Ballykeel Road in Hillsborough and 26-year-old Stephen McCaughey from Shackleton Walk in Newtownards deny murdering him.

Jimmy Seales two sons, Jason and Ian Weir, have already pleaded guilty to murder.

It is the Crown's case that Philip Strickland was shot in the leg in a yard before being bundled into the boot of his own car and driven to the Ballydrain Road where he was then shot in the face.

On Wednesday, Ian Weir, a witness for the prosecution, placed his father at the scene, armed with a shotgun.

On Thursday, under cross-examination by Stephen McCaughey's defence counsel, Weir said Stephen McCaughey wasn't on the Ballydrain Road when the fatal shot was fired.

"Stephen didn't do anything," he told the jury.

"Jason went down for a fight and I went down to back him up."

The Defence QC said to Ian Weir: "I suggest it was you who shot Philip Strickland."

Ian Weir replied: "I did not shoot Philip Strickland."

The lawyer continued: "When interviewed by the police, Stephen McCaughey told them he would like to say it was Jimmy but it was Ian and Ian is a nice fella."

Ian Weir told the court: "If I shot him I would not be dragging my family through the courts the way this is being done.

"I would have manned up in the police station and said it."

Ian Weir denied his brother Jason Weir drove back to the scene in Stephen McCaughey's car to try and burn Philip Strickland's car.

"I don't know anything about that," he replied.

The trial continues.

© UTV News
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