Edward Meenan: Three men jailed over father-of-nine's death

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Edward MeenanImage source, Meenan family
Image caption,
Edward Meenan died in November 2018

Three men have been jailed in connection with the killing of a father-of-nine in Londonderry.

The body of Edward Meenan was found in Creggan Street in November 2018. The 51-year-old had sustained multiple injuries including 52 stab wounds.

Sean Rodgers, 34, of no fixed abode was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years for the murder of Mr Meenan.

Derek Creswell, 30, of Kings Lane in Ballykelly, will also serve 15 years for his murder.

Ryan Walters, 23, from Station Park in Crossgar, County Down, will serve four years in prison and four on licence for manslaughter.

A fourth person, Sinead White, 38, of St Brecan's Park in Derry, admitted a charge of withholding information and was sentenced to three years probation.

Edward Meenan's mother Nancy told BBC News NI that she does not hate the people who killed her son because it would "do me more harm than them".

"I'll never be the same again, I am crying every day and just so many things remind me of him," she said.

"He had his wee flat but he spent most of the time with me. He was very good natured and he was very kind."

Media caption,

Nancy Meenan pays tribute to her murdered son Edward: "I haven't been the same since... when he died I died."

She said her son was cruelly taken from her and said she struggled to come to terms with the manner in which he was killed.

"I don't know how anyone could do that, they were animals as far as I am concerned," she added.

"I know I should hate them but I don't because if I did it would do me more harm than them".

'Sustained and brutal'

At a sentencing hearing on Tuesday, Judge McColgan described the attack on Mr Meenan as "sustained and brutal".

She outlined the injuries of Mr Meenan during the proceedings and said that Mr Meenan sustained a total of 52 stab wounds and 94 blunt force trauma and fractures to both legs.

She said the blood in the lungs suggested that most, if not all, of the stab wounds were inflicted when Mr Meenan was already dead or dying.

Image caption,
Sean Rodgers (left) and Derek Creswell (right) pictured outside of court at a previous hearing

The judge said it was accepted that Rodgers had inflicted the stab wounds and added that his clothes were covered in blood but never forensically examined due to the fact he burnt them.

Judge McColgan said she had received a victim impact report primarily written by Mr Meenan's mother.

In it Mrs Meenan said she was left "grief stricken, devastated and heartbroken" following her son's death.

She said she had to move from her home of 40 years due to its proximity to the scene of the crime.

'Sickening'

Speaking outside court after all four were sentenced, Mr Meenan's niece Natasha Duddy said: "No amount of years will ever bring Eddie back.

"It doesn't matter if they get 20 years, 18 years, it will never bring him back.

"They can go home at the end of the day and see their families. We will never see Eddie again."

Det Ch Insp John Caldwell said Mr Meenan "lost his life in the most brutal, sickening and tragic way".

"Losing a loved one is never easy but for the family and friends of Edward Meenan to lose their loved one in such a savage and degrading way, which showed a complete disregard for human life, is heartbreaking.

"I hope that the sentences handed down to his killers will give Edward Meenan's loved ones, and all those who have been left devastated by his death, a degree of closure and a sense of justice."

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