Musician’s widowed wife confronts killer in court

Bishop street Courthouse
Bishop street Courthouse

The widow of the Londonderry musician, Jim Gilchrist, who died after he was attacked in 2005, has claimed there is no justice after one of her husband’s killers received a seven-month sentence for theft at Limavady Magistrate’s Court.

As Daryl Quigley (27), with an address at Benevenagh Drive in Limavady was led away from the dock, Eileen Gilchrist waved a photo of her late husband for the defendant to see.

In evidence, Limavady Magistrates’ Court heard that Quigley stole razor blades valued at £92.98 from a local chemist on January 19.

The prosecution said that a member of staff reported that they saw Quigley lift the blades and put them in his jacket and walk out of the shop. He was challenged about this, but walked on.

The 27-year-old was arrested for theft, but became abusive to police, who found a small amount of cannabis on his person.

Nicola Rountree, who appeared for the defence, said her client had been working with social services in an attempt to turn his life around.

She said Quigley has not had an easy life and on the day in question had been drinking. She said Quigley had run out of money so he had stolen the blades with the intention of trying to sell them for money.

The court was also told that Quigley was in breach of a total of seven suspended sentences.

However, when Ms Rountree asked that her client be given a chance, the District Judge Liam McNally said that was the point of the suspended sentences.

District Judge McNally told Quigley that he had first appeared in court charged with theft in 2002 and it appeared he had been stealing other people’s property ever since that date.

He sentenced Quigley to two months’ imprisonment on the current theft charges and in addition to that, District Judge McNally invoked five months of the previous suspended sentences, imposing them consecutively to make a total of seven months.

As Quigley was being led from the court Mrs Gilchrist, who was accompanied by her daughter, Cathy, walked towards him and held up a picture of her late husband.

In 2008 Quigley and another man were sentenced to 10 years for the manslaughter of Mr Gilchrist. Another man pleaded guilty to murder.

Speaking outside the court, Eileen Gilchrist said: “Look at the time and resources that have been put in to try and rehabilitate someone like him, but what about us? We have to go home and live with the emptiness for the rest of our lives.”

Mrs Gilchrist also revealed that she had come face-to-face with another of her husband’s killers, while walking in the city centre in Londonderry.

“I was sick to my stomach when I saw him,” she told reporters.