“on the basis which has been put before the court and not on any other basis”

Having admitted to the manslaughter of Alan McCullough in a UDA feud, and with that plea being accepted “without objection” by the Crown prosecution, William Courtney was today sentenced to 8 years.. Alan McCullough’s family have stated that they intend to refer the matter to the Police Ombudsman.While from the PA report

Mr Justice Deeny told the court that forensic evidence tied Courtney to the location of McCullough`s murder but not to the 9mm pistol rounds used in the execution. The weapon has never been found.

The judge told him: “It is my duty to sentence you for the manslaughter of Alan McCullough on the basis which has been put before the court and not on any other basis.

“Having taken all the relevant factors into account, including your entitlement to a significant, although not the maximum, discount for your plea of guilty, I have concluded that a sentence of eight and a half years would have been appropriate.

“I reduce your sentence by a further six months because of the factor of delay. I therefore impose upon you a sentence of eight years` imprisonment.”