A 48-year old man who is originally from Kent has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for murdering a Derry man with a claw hammer and leaving a Letterkenny man permanently disabled in the same attack.
Last Friday, a court in Belfast heard that Paul Greatbanks, from Kent, was a homeless alcoholic in Dublin before he moved to Derry.
On February 20, 2011, he drank five double whiskies and beer before being asked to leave a bar.
He went back to his flat in Bayview Terrace, got a claw hammer and went to another flat in the same complex where he beat Paddy Harkin (49) to death.
Greatbanks then went to Paul Mythen’s flat, where he carried out an equally brutal attack, leaving the then 39-year-old Letterkenny man permanently disabled and required 24 hour care.
Immediately after the attacks and still covered in blood, Greatbanks walked into Strand Road PSNI centre and reported that the he’d just killed two men.
Mr Justice Horner said the victims “were entirely innocent men who did nothing to deserve” such acts of “unspeakable brutality”.
Greatbanks, who had pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the murder of Paddy Harkin and 15 years, with an extra five years on licence, for the attempted murder of Paul Mythen.
Mr Harkin’s brother John said the family were “disgusted” at the idea that Greatbanks might one day get out of prison.
“Unless that man is behind bars until the end of his days he will kill again, mark my words. I have never been more sure of anything in my life. He will do this again and that judge will have to have that on his conscience,” he told the Belfast Telegraph outside the courthouse.
“We hoped and prayed that we would get closure to this nightmare, but while there is even the smallest chance that he will get out of jail means we can’t relax.”