Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 13:22 UK

'Test evidence' demands family

Mary Devlin
Mary Devlin, the mother of stab victim Gerard Devlin, protests with her family

The family of Belfast man Gerard Devlin have said they will challenge the move by prosecutors to end the murder trial by accepting lesser charges.

Gerard Devlin, 39, was stabbed outside his Ballymurphy home in February 2006.

On Wednesday, one of the men accused pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Four other men admitted a charge of affray.

"We are taking this decision to the Attorney General and wherever else until we have been heard," said Gerard Devlin's aunt Bernadette O'Rawe.

She said would have preferred the murder trial to continue, even if the six had been acquitted in the end because "at least we would have come away with the satisfaction that we were heard, that the evidence was tested".

On Wednesday the court heard that, since the father-of-six was killed outside his Ballymurphy home in 2006, there had been 1,162 incidents in the area.

The judge, Mr Justice Stephens, said: "There are tensions, there was a background and remains a background and there are concerns about the policing of the area between now and the sentencing of the accused."

The six will be sentenced after probation reports have been completed.

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