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Teenager convicted of Belfast 'axe' murder

16 December 09 12:52 GMT

A 16-year-old boy has been found guilty of murdering a man who was hacked to death in front of his seven-year-old daughter and his heavily pregnant wife.

John Mongan, a father-of-three, died after the men smashed their way into his home in west Belfast last February.

Martin Stokes, from the Old Fort in Londonderry, was told that he would serve a life sentence.

On Tuesday, two other men were unanimously found guilty of Mr Mongan's murder.

Christopher Stokes, from Great James Street in Londonderry and Edward Stokes, from Cornshell Fields, also in the city, were unanimously convicted at Belfast Crown Court.

'Fifty wounds'

During the trial, the assistant state pathologist who examined Mr Mongan's body told the court he had identified between 40 and 50 wounds which had been inflicted by least two bladed weapons, possibly an axe and a sword.

During the trial, the victim's wife, Julia Mongan, who was due to give birth the day after the murder, described how she had pleaded with the intruders not to attack him.

In her evidence, she stated that both she and her seven-year-old daughter had witnessed the murder at their Fallswater Street home and she named all three defendants as the killers.

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