The family of murdered Kyle Neil say they are “disappointed’’ with the 12-year prison sentence without parole handed down to his killer Wesley Harry Vance and are considering an appeal.
Kyle’s mother, Drea, said in statement after sentence was passed at Downpatrick Crown Court, sitting in Belfast:
“As Kyle’s family and friends we have come to the end of a difficult process but it is also true to say our life sentence has just begun.
“Kyle was the life and soul of the party – he was always smiling and ready to help anyone. He was a loyal friend but above all an amazing daddy to Sophie.
“We can try to put our loss and hurt into words but Sophie has yet to face and try to understand that her ‘Dada’ has been taken from her. She has been robbed of his love and he will never see the milestones throughout her life.
“If you lose a spouse you are a widow or a widower; a child losing parents is an orphan but there is no word for a parent who loses a child. As his mother I will always miss him but I am grateful for the 24 years I had him.
“Throughout this terrible time we have had support from many people. We would especially like to thank everyone on the PSNI investigation team and also funeral director Stephen McCosh who enabled us to say our final goodbyes to Kyle.
“We are disappointed with the sentencing and are exploring the option of an appeal in relation to this.”
The investigation into Mr Neil’s murder was carried out by officers from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team.
Following sentence today by High Court judge Mr Justice Colton, Detective Inspector Chris Wilson, said: “This was a brutal act of violence that tragically resulted in the loss of a young man’s life.
“Kyle’s family has been robbed of a much loved son, grandson, brother and father and our thoughts are with them today.
“No family should have to go through this heartbreak.”