Family hit out at sentence

“IT is not justice,” said the brother of hit and run victim Gavin Devlin whose killer was sentenced to 18 months in jail last week.

Gavin was mowed down by drunk driver Patrick Maguire in September 2010.

Maguire, from Gilpin’s Manor in Lurgan was sentenced to a total of 18 months in a young offenders centre for death by dangerous driving.

Gavin’s brother Dermot voiced the family’s fury at the judgement saying: “My brother is now in his grave for 20 months and he’s never going to get out of his grave.”

Maguire, aged 20, appeared at Craigavon Magistrates Court last Wednesday after spending a week in jail pending sentencing following his guilty plea.

Judge Desmond Marrinan said it was ‘hard to read the suffering of his parents’ from reports the court had received.

“Gavin was a fine young man and the family’s grief is deep and moving,” said Judge Marriman.

He said the family had described it as a ‘living hell’ and he understood their ‘deep sorrow and loss’.

Gavin (31), one of six brothers from Lurgantarry, was walking home after a night out at a nearby GAA club on September 12, when he was hit by a vehicle close to Killough Gardens, the Crown Court heard.

The judge said that one of the aggravating features of the case was the amount of alcohol the defendant had consumed - twice the limit.

And he said it was still not clear why Maguire had made the ‘bitter decision’ to take his mother’s car when he was drunk.

Maguire had also pleaded guilty to taking a motor vehicle without authority, driving without insurance, failing to report an accident and driving with excess alcohol.

Another mitigating factor the judge referred to is Maguire’s youth and the remorse he has shown for what he did.

Judge Marriman sentenced Maguire to three years in a YOC but with 18 months on licence this makes the time in custody 18 months.

For taking a car without consent, Maguire received three months in a YOC and for causing the death of Gavin Devlin without due care and attention due to drinking he received nine months.

He was also given a £200 fine for having no insurance, three months in a YOC for failing to report an accident and three months for drink driving.

This is a total of 18 months in a YOC and a £200 fine.

After sentencing, a member of Mr Devlin’s family said to members of Maguire’s family: “I wish the curse of God on all of you.”

Outside the Court Mr Devlin’s brother Dermot said “To get 18 months is not justice. That young fella will soon be running about again.”