The family of murdered Co Antrim man Laurence Shaw have said they are relieved that his killer has been taken off the streets.
Jackie McDowell, 40, from Laharna Avenue in Larne, will spend at least 12 years in prison for Mr Shaw’s murder.
Speaking outside Belfast Crown Court yesterday, Mr Shaw’s brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews held photographs of him and said they were glad “a monster” has been taken off the streets.
His sister Margaret branded the murder “heinous and cowardly”.
She said: “It was a cold-blooded, brutal murder on a defenceless man in his own home. Laurence was subjected to prolonged, brutal and merciless acts of violence before he met his untimely death. The acts displayed a high level of cruelty and an unprecedented disregard for human life.
“Laurence was well known and respected in the community, loved and missed by all his family and friends. We are still in a state of shock.”
Ms Shaw thanked the PSNI and the PPS for “bringing this monster to justice” and when asked if the family were satisfied with the sentence, Ms Shaw said “life should mean life” but added no sentence could bring Laurence back.
She said her 56-year old brother had a big heart, loved his family, and since his death “the chain is broken and we are now missing a link”.