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Last Updated: Friday, 18 February, 2005, 18:53 GMT
Man sentenced over flat killing
Man was shot at a party
Richard Hamill was shot at a party
A 36-year-old man from County Down has been told that he must serve at least 17 years in jail for murder.

William Moore from Rathgill Court in Bangor killed Richard Hamill at a house party in the town in January 2003.

Belfast Crown Court was told Moore shot Mr Hamill in the bathroom of the house in St Gallen Court in "cold blooded fashion and without provocation".

Moore was told he must serve at least 17 years "to satisfy the requirements of retribution and deterrence".

The former unemployed boxer got the pistol used to shoot Mr Hamill from the North Down faction of the Ulster Defence Association after being warned by police that his life had been threatened by other members of the paramilitary organisation.

Mr Justice Hart said moments before the shooting Moore had asked others at the party - "will you shot him or will I."

"Whatever may have been the defendant's motivation for behaving in this way, the inescapable reality is that he had Hamill kneeling before him at his mercy when he fired the shot," he said.

The defendant, who admitted murdering Mr Hamill, had claimed he had only meant to scare him by putting the pistol to his head and had shot him by accident.

However, the judge said he was entirely satisfied Moore's claims were "without foundation".

"It cannot be stated too frequently that the courts will take a very severe view of those who equip themselves with illegally held firearms for whatever purpose and then use them," Mr Justice Hart added.

Funeral of murdered Bangor man
23 Jan 03 |  Northern Ireland

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