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Last Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Abuse victim jailed over killing
Joseph McQuade, 59, was stabbed at his home in Ballygowan
Joseph McQuade, 59, was stabbed at his home in Ballygowan
A man who stabbed his uncle to death in revenge for years of sexual abuse he suffered has been jailed for 14 years.

Thomas Ian McQuade, 34, of Shackleton Walk, Newtownards, was convicted of the 2001 manslaughter of his uncle Joseph.

Judge Mr Justice McLaughlin said the evidence established McQuade had been abused by his uncle when "very young".

But the Downpatrick Crown Court judge said the sentence would deter "those who take the law into their own hands, even in the face of serious abuse".

At the hearing on Monday, McQuade agreed to spend a further three years on probation on his release.

"The courts are the only legitimate authority for punishing wrong-doers," the judge said.

Last April a jury took less than an hour to convict McQuade, of his uncle's manslaughter, four years ago this week.

They had heard that McQuade, who suffers from a borderline personality disorder between neurotic and psychopathic, armed himself with a knife after hearing a radio report of a paedophile's sentencing.

He got a lift to his 59-year-old uncle's Ballygowan home where he slashed his throat and stabbed him numerous times in the chest.

Afterwards McQuade walked into Newtownards police station, setting the bloodied knife on the counter and admitted his crime.

There is little doubt that you have an appalling criminal record and I am particularly alarmed at how frequently you have committed violent offences
Mr Justice McLaughlin

McQuade was originally charged with murder and was convicted of that charge at the end of his first trial in April 2003.

However, that conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal who ruled that McQuade's mental condition should have been put before the jury and ordered a retrial.

Mr Justice McLaughlin told the court that from the psychiatric reports it was clear "sexual abuse and neglect" in McQuade's childhood "were contributing factors in that disorder".

The judge said McQuade had 65 previous criminal convictions since he was 15-years-old including serious assaults, a stabbing and shooting a police officer with his own gun in 1993.

"There is little doubt that you have an appalling criminal record and I am particularly alarmed at how frequently you have committed violent offences," the judge said.

Mr Justice McLaughlin said sentencing McQuade was particularly difficult because his personality disorder "has been caused, in some measure, by the actions of the victim towards you".

The judge told McQuade he had dismissed the idea of a discretionary life sentence as forensic psychiatrist Dr Ian Bownes had convinced him psychiatric services could help his condition.

However, he added that given McQuade's history and risk of harm to the public, "a longer than commensurate sentence is appropriate" as "my principle concern is the imperative to protect the public from future harm".


SEE ALSO:
Nephew admits killing his uncle
13 Apr 05 |  Northern Ireland
Uncle murder conviction quashed
12 Jan 05 |  Northern Ireland
Uncle murder sentence appealed
22 Mar 04 |  Northern Ireland
Life sentence for killing uncle
28 Apr 03 |  Northern Ireland
Man charged with uncle's murder
21 Oct 01 |  Northern Ireland


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