Five men from County Antrim who launched a “brutal” paramilitary style attack on leading loyalist Darren Moore have today been jailed at Laganside Crown Court.
David Rush (36), Joshua Wylie (20) and Robert Harry Campbell (33) pleaded guilty to Grievous Bodily Harm with intent. Rush was sentenced to six years, three years to be served in prison and three years on licence.
Wylie was sentenced to seven years, half of which to be served in a Young Offenders’ Centre and half on licence. Campbell was sentenced to five and half years, 33 months to be served in custody and 33 months to be served on licence.
Aaron Norman Cahoon (28) and David John Gibson (45) pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting GBH with intent and were sentenced to four and a half years each, half of which will be served in custody and half on licence.
Ten men were involved in the brutal attack on Darren Moore which occurred just after 6pm in a busy local bar. Hammers, baseball bats and metal bars were used in the assault which was carried out in front of staff and customers.
Detective Chief Inspector Dunny McCubbin from PSNI’s Criminal Investigation Branch said: “I welcome today’s sentencing of Aaron Norman Cahoon, David Rush, David John Gibson, Joshua Wylie and Robert Campbell for their involvement in this brutal paramilitary style attack on Darren Moore. There can be no excuse for this prolonged and vicious assault which left the victim with serious injuries and would have been extremely frightening for the staff and customers who were in the bar and witnessed the attack.
“In many paramilitary style attacks, securing statements from victims can be a challenge for police as there is fear of reprisal. In this case, there was no co-operation from the victim and witnesses but our robust investigation successfully led to the prosecution of five men involved. This should act as a warning to anyone involved in the violence associated with paramilitarism that we will work tirelessly to put them in front of the courts.
“The thugs responsible for this attack are hypocrites who think that they can act as judge, jury and executioner and they have no place in our society. They don’t serve the best interests of the community and they gave no thought to the people witnessing the attack or the woman they man-handled as she intervened to try and save Darren’s life.
“This remains an open investigation as there are still a number of other men who were involved in this brutal assault. If you have any information about this incident I would ask you to contact police on 101 referencing 982 of the 15/03/2017. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”