Four brothers jailed for killing Co Armagh couple

Thursday 06 March 2014 18.31
Thomas O'Hare and Lisa McClatchey were beaten before petrol was poured around their house and set alight
Thomas O'Hare and Lisa McClatchey were beaten before petrol was poured around their house and set alight

Four brothers from Co Armagh have been sentenced to a total of 41 years in prison for killing a couple after setting fire to their home in 2006.

Niall, Martin, Stephen and Christopher Smith showed no emotion when the sentences were passed for the manslaughters of Thomas O'Hare and his partner Lisa McClatchey at their home in November 2006.

The brothers wore balaclavas and were armed with canisters of petrol and a sledgehammer when they went to the house in Tassagh, near Keady in Co Armagh.

The couple were beaten before the brothers poured petrol around the house and set it alight.

Ms McClatchey, 21, and Mr O'Hare, 33, died in hospital shortly after.

The brothers were also badly burned.

The Smith brothers stood trial last year at Armagh Crown Court, where a jury found them not guilty of murder, but convicted them of the double manslaughter.

Today, Niall Smith was jailed for ten years and his three brothers got 11 years each.

Mr Justice Weatherup, sitting at Belfast Crown Court, branded the incident as a "kind of vigilantism" and said their actions on the night in question were "wholly unwarranted".