Sebastian Adrian Nowak was sentenced today, Friday 8th December, at Belfast Crown Court for the manslaughter of Brian Coulter.
Mr Coulter, who was 62, was found dead in his home in Magherafelt in October 2021.
Nowak, aged 29, was sentenced to nine years for manslaughter. He will serve 4 ½ years in prison, and the remainder on licence.
He was also handed a six-month sentence, which will be served concurrently, for assault on the deceased’s sister, assault on police and obstructing police.
Detective Inspector Jennifer Rea said: “Brian’s sister called at the Sandy Braes address to visit her brother on 18th October 2021 but made a shocking discovery. It was a sight no family member should ever have to see. She found the body of her brother lying in his bedroom. It is believed that, as a result of Nowak’s action, Brian may have been dead in the property for up to five days.
“While she was in Brian’s home, his sister located a man in another room who was shouting so she fled the property and called police. She had the presence of mind to take a photograph on her phone of this man who ran from the scene. This man had been staying at Mr Coulter’s property from 13 October 2021.
“Officers arrived within minutes and an extensive search got underway for the suspect aided by this image. The man was found a short time later in the Castledawson Road area.
“Nowak was uncooperative. Lashing out and resisting arrest, even providing a false name to police.
“What exactly happened that resulted in Brian’s death is known only to Nowak. His death was as a result of an unlawful act committed by Nowak. But what we do know is that such acts have irreversible consequences, for all. My thoughts, and that of my team, are with Brian Coulter’s family.
“Today, thanks to our dedicated team and working in partnership with our colleagues in the Public Prosecution Service, the defendant has been held accountable for his actions.”
Statement from Brian Coulter’s family:
“Brian was a much loved brother and father. We treasure our memories of him and miss him every day.
“Today’s sentencing brings us to the end of a long road. We wanted justice for Brian and this has been a very painful time for us.
“He died tragically and the lack of remorse shown by his attacker at every stage is disgraceful. No sentence would ever be long enough for taking another person’s life.
“We will remember all the good times with Brian, he will never be forgotten by us."