22 June 2023

Man jailed for murder of victim who was dumped in wheelie bin in lake

22 June 2023

A man who battered a love rival and left him to die before disposing of his body in a wheelie bin dumped in a lake has been told he must serve at least 16 years in prison before he can be considered for release.

David Gill, 30, of no fixed abode has been sentenced at Belfast Crown Court for the murder of father-of-four Pat McCormick, 55, in Co Down in 2019.

Mr McCormick was lured to a flat in Comber on the evening of May 30 2019, where he believed he was going to meet Gill’s fiancee Lesley Ann Dodds, who he had had a brief relationship with.

Mr McCormick had received messages from Dodds’ Facebook, saying she had left Gill and asking him to come to her flat.

Instead, when Mr McCormick arrived, only Gill was at the flat.

Judge Mr Justice Scoffield said Mr McCormick had been the victim of a “brutal and sustained assault”.

Mr McCormick’s body was discovered six weeks later in a lake in Co Down secured in a bin with straps and weighed down with concrete blocks.

A post-mortem examination showed he had suffered multiple rib fractures.

Dodds, 25, from Queen Victoria Gardens in Belfast, was sentenced to five and a half years after admitting manslaughter, with half to be served in custody.

The judge said he had no doubt she had played her part in luring Mr McCormick to the flat.

Three other men who had admitted withholding information in relation to Mr McCormick’s killing, were sentenced.

William Gill, 43, from Terrace View in Waringstown, Andrew Leslie, 24, from Mourne Crescent in Moneyrea and Jonathon Richard Leslie Montgomery, 24, from Castle Espie Road in Comber, were all given suspended sentences.

Of course, their sadness doesn’t end today. It’s over four years on now and their heartache understandably remains

PSNI Detective Inspector Jennifer Rea said: “Pat was a father of four children. He was a husband, a son, a brother and an uncle.

“Those weeks of waiting, wondering and hoping were a torturous and prolonged nightmare for a loving family.

“Of course, their sadness doesn’t end today. It’s over four years on now and their heartache understandably remains.”

Ms Rea continued: “David Gill and Lesley Ann Dodds had initially denied any involvement in Pat’s disappearance and murder.

“The reality is that both played a part in luring Pat to the home of Lesley Ann Dodds.

“However, instead of meeting Ms Dodds as expected, David Gill was lying in wait to carry out this brutal attack.

“Today, thanks to our dedicated team and working in partnership with our colleagues in the Public Prosecution Service, the defendants have been held accountable for their actions. Actions that were planned, cowardly and irreversible.

“My thoughts are first and foremost with Pat’s family and loved ones.”

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