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Brian Shivers gets 25 years for murder of British soldiers

The terminally ill man convicted of the double murder nearly three years ago has been sentenced at Belfast Crown Court today.

Brian Shivers outside Antrim Courthouse last month.
Brian Shivers outside Antrim Courthouse last month.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

BRIAN SHIVERS, THE man convicted of the murder of two British soldiers at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim nearly three years ago, has been sentenced to a 25-year minimum term in prison at Belfast Crown Court today.

Shivers, who is terminally ill, was convicted last month of the murder of 23-year-old Mark Quinsey and 21-year-old Patrick Azmikar who were shot dead by the Real IRA as they collected pizza on 7 March 2009 outside the Massereene barracks in Co Antrim.

BBC News reports that the court heard that Shivers, 46, has cystic fibrosis and doctors believe he has  only between four and five years to live.

Justice Anthony Hart told him he would have to spend at least 25 years in prison before he could be considered for release.

He said that Shivers had been a secondary party to the killings, responsible for trying to burn out the getaway car – “a prominent and essential role” in the crime, the judge said.

“I am satisfied that appropriate arrangements are being put in place to provide the necessary medical care which Shivers will require in the future. Those involved in this very grave crime must receive appropriate punishment,” the judge is quoted as saying by Press Association.

The judge also referred to the victims’ impact statement in which Azimkar’s mother Geraldine said that her family’s lives “are no longer light but weighed down with sorrow and loss.”

Shivers co-accussed Colin Duffy was acquitted of murdering the two soldiers last month.

Police in Northern Ireland have continued to appeal for information about the murder of the two soldiers who were due to begin a tour of duty in Afghanistan the following day.

Read: Brian Shivers found guilty of murder of British soldiers

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Hugh O'Connell

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