herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Mum's shock as pair's 'Reservoir Dogs' killing charge downgraded

TRIAL

Wayne Alan Lennon
Wayne Alan Lennon
Brian Peter McConville

THE mum of a builder killed by two Irishmen during an hour-long orgy of violence has criticised a shock plea bargain which could see his self-confessed attackers out of jail in less than 10 years.

Brian McConville (30) and Wayne Lennon (38), a friend of mobsters Fat Freddie Thompson and Brian Rattigan, both admitted at the start of their trial at a court in Malaga yesterday to punching, kicking and stabbing Londoner Paul Feathers to death.

Police described the attack at the flat the 31-year-old shared with his girlfriend as "torture".

The court heard how Mr Feathers was battered around the head and body and stabbed 44 times in the arms, legs and neck with a kitchen knife.

Lennon also used the knife to stab Mr Feathers in the back, piercing his chest cavity.

The court heard how the Dubliners went on the run after the April 21, 2010, assault in the Costa del Sol resort of Benalmadena and sparked an international manhunt which ended with Lennon's arrest on the Portuguese Algarve in May 2011 and McConville's detention in Holland two years later.

A Spanish state prosecutor stunned Mr Feathers' mum into silence yesterday as an agreement was announced that involved the downgrading of the accusation against them from murder to the less serious charge of homicide.

Instead of the 20 years Inmalucada Budino was demanding for both men, she is now expected to seek a prison sentence of just 11 years if - as expected after their confessions - a jury returns a formal guilty verdict.

The one-day trial went ahead in front of a jury of four men and five women, despite the Irishmen's confessions, because of the seriousness of the crime and the length of the prison sentence they were facing.

BLOOD

A police officer who called to the scene of the killing said: "The dead man was lying on the ground with his face in a dog's food bowl. There was an awful lot of blood from floor to ceiling."

Mr Feathers' killing was described at the time as a 'Reservoir Dogs-style crime'. Mr Feathers' widowed mum Beryl (67), from Essex, broke down in tears and had to be comforted by a friend as Lennon and McConville apologised for their actions in a closing speech.

Speaking outside court as she held up a framed portrait of her son, the mum-of-two said: "I think it's disgusting they've been able to strike a deal and I can't understand why the Spanish state prosecutors have agreed to it.

"I came here expecting these two men to be found guilty of murder and sentenced to 20 years in jail. For me that would have been fair. It's a mockery. For me, my son was murdered whichever way it goes. His killers' apologies gave me no comfort whatsoever."

Defending her decision to downgrade the charge of murder to homicide, Mrs Budino said: "It's not been proven the accused deliberately increased their victims' suffering before killing him. All but one of the multiple knife wounds on his head and body were superficial wounds and the heaviest blows that killed him were the kicks and punches delivered towards the end of his ordeal."

Mr Feathers' girlfriend, named only as Sarah in court, is thought to have been so traumatised she left Spain after his death.

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