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Colin McSweeny jailed for life over son's murder

Colin McSweeny Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Colin McSweeny was sentenced to life with a minimum of 14 and a half years

A father found guilty of murdering his adopted son in a row over the custody of his grandchild has been sentenced.

Colin McSweeny, 59, of Thornton Heath, south London, was found guilty of murdering 24-year-old Sean McSweeny.

The Old Bailey heard the former fireman bludgeoned his son with a scaffolding pole because he had suggested moving out with his five-year-old daughter.

McSweeny, who planned to dispose of the body in the River Thames, must serve a minimum of 14 and a half years.

'I just struck him'

The court heard Sean told his parents of his plans to move out of the property he shared with them, but they were concerned about the safety of his daughter if she went with him.

McSweeney said they argued in the garage and his son turned around holding golf clubs and shouting at him.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Colin McSweeny was arrested near Deptford Wharf

He told the Old Bailey: "I [thought I] was going to be killed... I just struck him. I heard his last words were 'oh lord' then he fell to the floor."

McSweeney said he washed his son's face and spent the evening in his house with a police officer friend, Sarah Lavington, who had been invited to help celebrate his wife's 60th birthday.

Later that night, he bundled Sean's body into the boot of his car and drove to Deptford Wharf where he planned to dispose of the body in the River Thames.

After deciding against dumping his son's body in the river, his vehicle was stopped by police who found Sean's body in the boot.

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