Northern Ireland

Richard Scullion's murderer to spend at least 12 years in prison

Richard Gerard Scullion Image copyright PSNI
Image caption Richard Gerard Scullion, 55, was found dead at his home in Banbridge

A man who murdered his friend after an argument in a flat in County Down will spend at least 12 years in prison before being eligible for parole.

Richard Gerard Scullion, 55, was beaten and stabbed in his home at Millmount Court in Banbridge in July 2018.

David Robert Boyd, 29, of Scarva Walk, Banbridge, received an automatic life sentence for the killing.

A judge said the murder was tragic as it was caused by someone the victim had "befriended and helped".

The court had heard that the men had been drinking together when the mood changed and Mr Scullion accused Boyd of "bringing trouble to [my] door".

'Man of great compassion'

Boyd said he followed Mr Scullion into the kitchen of the flat and that the deceased turned around with clenched fists.

He said he reacted by lifting a frying pan and hitting Mr Scullion on the head.

He then punched and kicked Mr Scullion on the floor before stabbing him in the back with a knife he took from the nearby draining board.

"It was clear that Gerard was a man of great compassion and kindness towards others, particularly the homeless," the judge said.

"Indeed, tragically it was this feature of his personality which endeared him to the defendant, Mr Boyd.

'Sickening attack

"Gerard's death was particularly tragic as it was caused by someone he befriended and helped, something the defendant himself acknowledges."

In statement, Mr Scullion's family thanked those who had worked on the investigation.

They praised the "investigative and legal teams, also the liaison officer and his team" for dealing with the case "with humanity and professionalism".

The PSNI also welcomed the sentence, describing the killing of Mr Scullion as "a sickening attack".

Dt Ch Insp Eamonn Corrigan said it had been "extremely effective investigation", which led to "David Boyd eventually admitting what he did".

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