Maghera men jailed over death of man on Glenshane Pass

image captionMr Woods was found in the Glenshane Pass area.

Two Maghera men have been jailed for the manslaughter of a drinking companion they abandoned in a remote area in sub-zero temperatures.

Gregory Woods, 41, from Castledawson, died from hypothermia after he was left on the Glenshane Pass.

Dean Porter, 42, from Ballynahone Road, was sentenced to three years at Londonderry Crown Court, sitting in Belfast.

Niall Regan from Largantogher Park was jailed for 18 months.

He agreed to complete a similar term on probation after his release.

The judge, Mr Justice Hart, said that Porter had threatened to kill Mr Woods on a number of occasions.

One of the threats was made in front of police but the judge said it seemed they did not take it seriously.

'Gross negligence'

The three men had been drinking together on February 3 2008 and the accused later drove Mr Woods to the Glenshane Pass where they put him out of their car.

Regan later rang police to tell him Mr Woods was missing.

The two defendants both admitted manslaughter and the judge said they had been guilty of gross negligence by abandoning Mr Woods in a remote location when he was extremely drunk and not properly clothed to cope with the cold weather.

Mr Justice Hart said a post mortem revealed no evidence of any serious assault on Mr Woods.

He said Porter's actions appeared to have been motivated by hostility and animosity towards Mr Woods.

The judge added that there was an allegation from a friend of Porter that he had been sexually assaulted by Mr Woods.

Mr Woods' family have denied that claims.

The court was told that Porter had a serious drink problem and that Regan had been addicted to inhaling butane gas.

Mr Woods' death was the third tragedy to hit his family. His brother Michael died in a road accident seven years ago and his father Roland subsequently took his own life.

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