David Conville
David Conville

Today, 13 March, Edward Kelly was sentenced for the manslaughter of David James Conville in south Belfast.

The 31-year-old was sentenced at Belfast Crown Court to serve three-and-a-half years, half of his sentence will be served in custody and half will be served on licence, following his guilty plea last November.

Mr Conville, who was aged 34, died days after an assault, which took place on the night of 27 May 2022. 

Detective Chief Inspector Neil McGuinness said: “The assault took place outside an address in Abingdon Drive.  This was on Friday 27 May 2022, just after 8pm.  

“Officers attended, along with colleagues from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, and Mr Conville was taken to hospital having sustained a serious head injury.

“Sadly, he passed away several days later, in the early hours of Monday 30 May.”

Detective Chief Inspector McGuinness continued: “This physical altercation has had tragic and irreversible consequences. It has taken a young man’s life and left a loving family bereft.  Their worlds have been torn apart.  And, while I hope today’s outcome offers a degree of closure, I know they remain heartbroken.  

“My thoughts, and that of my team, are with them.”

Statement from Lee-Anne Ferguson, David’s sister 

The Conville family would like to thank everyone for the kindness and support they’ve given us since this horrific attack took place. 

David was at his family home, the very place he should have felt safe.  Instead he was attacked, outside the house, and later died from the injuries sustained.  He was taken from us in the most cruel way.

There are no words that describe the loss we as a family have suffered and continue to suffer.  David was only 34 years old.  He was a devoted and much-loved dad, a loving son and brother, and a friend to all.  Not only have we lost David, but just eight months after he was killed, our mum died of a broken heart.  The loss of her son was just too much to bear.   

We, David’s family, have been robbed of our future with him, and David has been robbed of his future with his children.  No sentence will ever be justice for the loss we have suffered and continue to suffer. 

We, as a family, would like to express our deepest thanks to the Royal Victoria Hospital Intensive Care Unit who looked after David with care, dignity and respect in his final days.  And we’re grateful to Police and the Major Investigation Team who have supported us through this painful journey.

We miss you every single day, David.  You’re never far from our minds.