Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Major Investigation Team have welcomed the sentences handed down to Samantha Brown and Patrick Crymble at Laganside court today, Friday 8 April 2022.

This follows the manslaughter of Mark Ponisi, aged 53, at a property in south Belfast in January 2018.

Samantha Brown, aged 30, was sentenced for the offence of manslaughter and received a determinate custodial sentence of ten years - five years to be served in prison and five years to be served on licence.

Patrick Crymble, aged 30, was sentenced for the offence of manslaughter and received an indeterminate custodial sentence with a minimum of eight years to be served in prison before he can be considered for release.

Detective Inspector Jennifer Rea said: “Police and paramedics were called to a flat in south Belfast’s London Road on the morning of Saturday, 20th January 2018.

“Here, Mark Ponisi was found injured and, sadly, was pronounced dead a short time later.

“Mr Ponisi had sustained injuries inflicted by both Patrick Crymble and Samantha Brown. He had been punched, kicked and hit with a hammer.

“The assault took place in the early hours of the Saturday. The three individuals had gone back to the flat, after meeting in Belfast, when a disagreement occurred. It resulted in a brutal and sustained attack – an attack which cost a man his life.

“I can only hope that today’s sentencing sends out a clear message to anyone who thinks they can get away with such atrocity. We will continue to work tirelessly and relentlessly to bring offenders before the courts.”