Young killer with a history of violence sentenced for robbery

Coyle pictured in 2009, aged 16-years
Coyle pictured in 2009, aged 16-years

Self-confessed killer Eamon Charles Coyle, who stabbed and throttled his grandfather when he was a teenager, was yesterday jailed for robbing an Omagh shop and brutally beating a young employee.

Dungannon Crown Court judge Gemma Loughran told Coyle, 21 and of Drumlegagh Road South, between Drumquin and Omagh, that “it is sadly clear that despite your age the use of serious violence is not foreign to you”.

However, while she found he posed a serious risk of harm to the public, “on balance I have some confidence” he would undertake the work required of him when released back into the community.

During his trial for the ‘Hill Shop’ robbery on Omagh’s Kevlin Road, the court heard Coyle was one of two men who demanded cash from a teenage shop assistant, who was then punched before Coyle beat him with a baton as he tried to grab cash from the till.

Just £40 was taken.

Coyle will serve at least three years imprisonment before he may be released on the recommendation of the Parole Commissioners, followed by an extended two-year period of supervised, licensed parole. He was unanimously convicted in March of the robbery in February 2012, by a jury prevented of hearing of his 17 previous convictions.

Coyle, originally from Omagh, broke into the home of his 78-year-old grandfather Francis O’Neill, stabbed him in the neck and strangled him for £80 rent money in 2009.

Initially given a year’s detention for the manslaughter, it was later increased to two.