Terminally ill man convicted of killing two soldiers outside army base in Northern Ireland likely to die in prison
A republican convicted of killing two soldiers in Northern Ireland hours before their deployment to Afghanistan in 2009 has been told he must serve a minimum of 25 years in prison for the double murder.
The length of the sentence means Brian Shivers, who is terminally ill, is likely to die in jail.
The 46-year-old from Magherafelt, Londonderry, was convicted last month of killing sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, and Patrick Azimkar, 21, outside Massereene barracks in Antrim town. The pair were shot dead as they collected pizzas on the eve of their leaving Northern Ireland for a tour of Afghanistan. The Real IRA claimed responsibility for the murders.
During the trial, Shivers's lawyer said his client suffered from cystic fibrosis and had only a few years left to live.
At Belfast crown court on Friday, Mr Justice Anthony Hart told Shivers he would have to spend at least 25 years in prison before he could be considered for release.
Quinsey, from Birmingham, and Azimkar, from London, were both serving with 38 Engineer Regiment. Two pizza delivery men were also badly wounded in the shooting outside the army base.
After receiving his sentence Shivers gave a thumbs up sign to his supporters in the public gallery. Shivers's DNA was found on two matches in the back of a burnt-out getaway car. The judge said there was an extremely strong inference that the defendant was connected to the vehicle.
His co-accused, Colin Duffy, a 44-year-old republican veteran from Lurgan was earlier acquitted of murdering the two soldiers.