22-years for violent sectarian attack
North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said that it is essential that sentencing in violent sectarian attacks properly reflects the nature of the crimes.
He was speaking after a jail sentence of 22 years was handed down for a vicious sectarian attack on a Catholic man with a knife, saucepan and ligature in Ballymena.
Mr McKay said:
"The details of this case are particularly gruesome. This was a sustained sectarian attack that left a man very seriously injured. It is essential that sentencing in violent sectarian attacks, and indeed all such violent attacks, properly reflects the nature of the crimes.
"The victim of this crime played dead and listened as the perpetrator ordered a saw to cut up his body for disposal. The victim's only crime was being a Catholic and although this may seem like an attack which would have been carried out by the Shankill Butchers in the 1970s the reality is that it happened in Ballymena in the present day.
"The criminal justice system has a vital role to play in the battle against sectarianism. Public confidence in the judicial system will only develop if, on a consistent basis, sentences are handed down are consistent with the nature of the crime." ENDS