Michael Campbell sentenced to life for murder of Roy Reynolds in Newtownabbey

Major Investigation Team Detectives investigating the murder of a male following an incident in the Derrycoole Way area of Rathcoole in Newtownabbey in the early hours of Monday 28 March, have named the victim as year 54 old Roy Reynolds.
Murder victim Roy Reynolds

A Co Antrim man has been sentenced to life after admitting the murder of Roy Reynolds last year. Michael Campbell, 34, formerly of East Way in Rathcoole, had previously pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing in April of this year to murdering the 54-year-old.At Belfast Crown Court today on Thursday, solicitor advocate Gerard McNamara told Mr Justice O'Hara that he had an application for Campbell to be re-arraigned on the murder charge.

When the charge was put to him that he murdered Mr Reynolds on a date unknown between March 26, 2022 and March 29, 2022, Campbell replied: "Guilty.''Mr Justice O'Hara told the court: "In light of the fact that Mr Campbell has now pleaded guilty to the murder of Mr Reynolds in March last year, I am imposing on him a life sentence."A tariff hearing will take place in February next year to determine how long he will spend in custody before his release can be considered by the Parole Commissioners.''Prosecution counsel Ciaran Murphy KC said documents will be served on the court ahead of the tariff hearing including potential victim impact statements from the family of Mr Reynolds.Campbell had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to prevent the lawful and decent burial of Mr Reynolds on March 28, 2022.Co-accused 69 year-old Robert Fulton, of Brickhill Park, Newtownabbey, previously pleaded guilty to a charge of knowing that Michael Campbell had committed murder, he "assisted the said person in removing, transporting and attempting to conceal the body of the deceased''.No details were given on Thursday, 14 December about the circumstances surrounding the murder, but a previous bail court hearing was told that the body of Mr Reynolds was found in a County Antrim reservoir.A High Court judge heard Mr Reynolds sustained multiple fractures and stab wounds at Campbell’s Rathcoole home in Newtownabbey.Fulton told police he arrived at the flat to witness Campbell push his foot down on the dead man’s head while it made a “cracking” sound.Mr Reynolds’ partially submerged remains were discovered at North Woodburn Reservoir, near Carrickfergus, on March 28, 2022.Fulton was accused of bringing his car to the murder scene and drilling holes in a breeze block for an attempt to weigh down the victim.The two men were arrested when police stopped the blood-stained vehicle on its way back from the dam.By that stage a neighbour had already reported seeing a man drag a naked body out of Campbell’s home and put it in the boot of a car.A search of the property found blood-covered walls and clear signs of a disturbance.A blood-stained knife and a screwdriver were also located, along with an electric hedge trimmer on the sofa.The court heard that Mr Reynolds had fractures to his jaw and ribs, as well as stab wounds to his chest and other areas of the body.

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