Four men to serve at least 15 years each for Colin Horner murder
Father-of-two shot dead at Bangor supermarket car park in front of son (3)
The murder of Colin Horner had all the hallmarks of a professional contract killing, the court was told.
The mother of murdered father-of-two Colin Horner said on Tuesday she felt justice for her son has been served after she watched four men sent to prison for over 60 years.
Moments earlier Horner’s killers Alan James Wilson, Joseph Blair, Robert Ralph, and Ryan Graham Smyth, laughed and joked, waving and giving the ‘thumbs-up’ to family and friends before being lead from the dock of Belfast Crown Court.
Mr Justice Colton told the men that while he was determining the minimum tarrif each must serve before being eligible to apply for parole, they would always remain subject to their life sentences, and could be returned to prison at any time.
Mr Justice Colton said the murder of the 35-year-old father of two was “callous”. He said it was made all the more serious as it was carried out in front of his three-year-old son Oscar, in a public carpark and witnessed by ordinary people going about their lawful business.
The murder, said by the prosecution to have all the hallmarks of a professional contract killing, was committed by an unknown lone masked gunman dressed in black.
Given a minimum of 16 years each for their roles in the carpark shooting of Sainsbury’s Bangor supermarket on May 28th, 2017, were, Wilson (30) of North Green, Newtownards, and Bangor man Ryan Graham Smyth (31) of Windsor Gardens. Given 15 and a half years, and 15 years, respectively were Newtownards men, Joseph Blair (35), of Shackleton Walk, and Robert Ralph, (47) of Donaghadee Road.
Sentenced along with them, but free on suspended jail terms, on seperate charges of withholding information on the brutal killing were Adrian Gordon Price (48) of Bristol Park, Newtownards, and Conlig woman Terrie Aicken (24)from Green Road.
Speaking outside Laganside Court Lesley Horner said that while nothing will bring her son back, those responsible for his death are now behind bars “for a very long time.”
She also said it was “extremely difficult” to deal with the verbal abuse directed at her and her family by supporters of the jailed men moments after the sentences were passed.
“ My son was murdered because he stood up to scum. He wanted to get on with his life and bring his kids up, but they wouldn’t leave him alone - and I’m proud of him.”
And when asked how Colin’s son Oscar was, Mrs Horner said: “He’s doing good. He’s a delightful wee boy and we will keep his Daddy’s memory alive.” – M&M News Service