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Man jailed over death of popular blues musician has had a ‘spiritual awakening’ behind bars

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Coleraine Courthouse
BT Coleraine

A man convicted of manslaughter for his role in the killing of popular musician Jim Gilchrist in 2005 has had a “spiritual awakening” in prison following the death of his own step-father, a court heard on Monday.

Daryl Quigley (32), of Eventide Gardens in Limavady, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court via video link from Maghaberry Prison, and admitted a string of offences including being disorderly at the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine last November.

Police had a concern for the safety of Quigley and he had been taken to the hospital but because he was disorderly he was removed to a cell van and attempted to headbutt a police officer. Drugs were found.

Later, whilst in an interview room at a police station the defendant threw a cup of water over a digital recording machine but claimed it was it was unintentional saying epilepsy caused his “hand to jerk”.

Quigley also admitted stealing a grooming kit from Tesco and he was detected with cannabis at an hotel in Toomebridge.

In the run up to Christmas last year he stole a laser toy gun and hair straighteners from Tesco in Limavady.

A defence barrister told Monday’s court the offences happened after Quigley returned to his “old habit” of drug use and offending to feed that addiction following the death of his stepfather and his marriage had also broken up.

The lawyer said: “The death of his stepfather made him reflect on his own mortality”.

Quigley had been back in custody since December. With the assistance of a priest at Maghaberry Jail, the lawyer said Quigley has now had “something of a spiritual awakening”.

Whilst appearing to cry, the defendant told the court he would do anything “just to get back with my my wife and kids.”

Deputy District Judge Peter Magill said a Probation report showed the defendant realised his offending was “simply unacceptable”.

He ordered Quigley to 100 hours of unpaid work and also put him on Probation for two years with a condition that he gets treatment for alcohol and drugs.

Jim Gilchrist – a well known blues musician in Derry/Londonderry – was set upon while on his way home from a motorcycle club meeting in September 2005.

The body of the 62-year-old father-of-five and grandfather was then thrown into the River Foyle.

Quigley was jailed for 10 years in 2008 for manslaughter but released in 2011.

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