Two men guilty of the murder of Edward Meenan from Derry/ Londonderry in 2018, and another man guilty of his manslaughter, have today, Tuesday, 5th July, been sentenced at Laganside Crown Court.
Mr Meenan’s body was found in an alleyway behind Creggan Street in the city shortly before 2.45am on 25th November, 2018, with significant injuries to his head and body. The 51-year-old had been beaten viciously with 52 stab wounds inflicted on his body and more than 100 signs of assault, including two broken legs. His body had been partially stripped naked.
Sean Rodgers, aged 34 years old and of no fixed abode, was found guilty of the murder of Edward Meenan following a trial while Derek Creswell, aged 30 years old and who is originally from the city, pleaded guilty to murder during the trial. Ryan Walters, 23 years old and from Crossgar, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Mr. Meenan.
Sean Rodgers was sentenced to life imprisonment, and will serve a minimum of 18 years for murder. He was also sentenced to five years for perverting the course of justice, which is set to run concurrently.
Derek Creswell was sentenced to life imprisonment, and will serve a minimum of 15 years. Also running concurrent to this, he was sentenced to three years for perverting the course of justice and three years for assault.
Ryan Walters was sentenced for eight years for manslaughter - half to be served in custody and half on licence.
Speaking after sentencing, the senior investigating officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell from the Police Service’s Murder Investigation Team said: “Foremost in our thoughts today, are the family, loved ones and friends of Edward Meenan who was the father of nine children. His children have been robbed of a lifetime of memories, their lives and those of his loved ones shattered by the depraved and savage actions of his killers.
“Edward Meenan lost his life in the most brutal, sickening and tragic way. He was tortured, and suffered an horrific death, subjected to a brutal and sustained attack that was senseless. What he must have went through in those final minutes of his life is unimaginable.
“Losing a loved one is never easy but, for the family and friends of Edward Meenan to lose their loved one in such a savage and degrading way, which showed a complete disregard for human life, is heart breaking.
“I hope that the sentences handed down to his killers will give Edward Meenan’s loved ones, and all those who have been left devastated by his death, a degree of closure and a sense of justice. We hope now the Meenan family can grieve properly now these convicted killers are behind bars.
“Our community is safer now these men have been convicted and sentenced.
“I want to pay tribute to the Meenan family for the dignity and strength they have shown throughout the past almost four years in what has been a long, difficult and painful process.
"I would also like to pay tribute to the local community in the city who came forward with information which assisted our detectives during this investigation, our Criminal Justice Partners - the Public Prosecution Service and Forensic Science Northern Ireland - and our dedicated team of detectives who have worked tirelessly to bring these three men before the court to ensure they are held accountable for the heinous crimes they committed."