A Belfast man was told today that he will have to spend a minimum of 14 years in prison without parole for the sword murders of two men, including a leading UDA figure.
Albert Armstrong admitted killing Colin ‘Bap’ Lindsay, 47, and Stanley Wightman, 52 in an attack in July last year.
Both men were found in the living room of Mr Lindsay’s Kirkiston Walk bungalow in the Belvoir estate.
They were said to have suffered severe wounds inflicted by a Samurai sword.
Mr Lindsay, a father of two, was pronounced dead at the scene and Mr Wightman died from his injuries two days after the attack.
Last month Armstrong had been handed down a life sentence by Mr Justice Treacy.
Today, at a tariff hearing at Belfast Crown Court, Mr Justice Treacy said both victims had died from “catastrophic injuries’’.
He said the victims, who had been drinking with Armstrong all day, sustained “multiple incisive wounds to the neck which had been carried out with considerable force with a Samurai sword’’.
Mr Lindsay was almost decaptitated in the attack and Mr Wightman had almost had his hand severed.
The judge said that his starting point for sentence was one of 20 years, stating Armstrong’s “culpability was exceptionally high in this case’’.
But Mr Justice Treacy said that taking mitigating factors into account including Armstrong’s guilty pleas, that the attack was not premeditated and he had no history of violence, he would adjust the sentence downwards.
“I determine the appropriate sentence before you could be released, if ever by the Parole Commissioners, is one of 14 years.”
As Armstrong was being led away in handcuffs, there was uproar in the public gallery from grieving relatives of the two murder victims, some of whom hurled abuse him.
One woman shouted at him: “I hope you rot in hell. You’re a murderer. You are a gutless, evil monster.’’