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Police forensic officers examine a murder scene outside Comber, Co Down, where body of Philip Strickland, 36, was found shot dead in a car. PA Archive/Press Association Images
Philip Strickland

Four to be sentenced over "brutal" feud murder of farm labourer

Philip Strickland was killed in 2012 and four men are due to be sentenced in connection with his death.

FOUR MEN ARE to appear in court today and tomorrow to be sentenced over the murder of Philip Strickland in 2012.

The PSNI said today that Ian and Jason Weir will be sentenced today, while Jimmy Seales and Stephen McCaughey will be sentenced tomorrow.

In February, the police said they welcome all nine convictions in this case and in particular the four convictions for Strickland’s murder.

We hope these will provide some degree of comfort and sense of justice for Phillip’s family after the pain they have suffered over the past two years.

The officer who led the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Karen Baxter, said at the time: “Those who knew Phillip would accept he was not perfect but he was a hard worker who made the best of the skills he had to get work as a farm labourer, working long hours in all weathers and earn a living.”

She said that “tragically, sometimes Phillip didn’t fully understand the consequences of his words or actions”.

A dispute with the Seales family, most notably on social media, sadly resulted in his murder, said Baxter.

She said that Phillip suffered a “brutal and cowardly death”.

Philip Strickland murder Police forensic officers examine the murder scene outside Comber, Co Down PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

He had gone to the Ballydrain Road outside Comber to pick up some items but was assaulted. He was then shot a number of times on a quiet country road.

Police said that the vast majority of the local community were “shocked and outraged” by his death.

While the majority of people did cooperate, Det Insp Baxter noted in February:

Sadly, a small group of individuals did not co-operate. Some of them are among the nine individuals who have been charged and convicted for the roles they played in Phillip Strickland’s murder

Read: PSNI arrest man in connection with Philip Strickland murder>

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