3,000 sign petition against Maghera man’s killer ‘getting day release’ during ‘joke’ sentence

Seamus Martin Kearney leaving Derry Courthouse on bail after being charged for the murder of RUC reserve constable John Proctor. Pacemaker

Seamus Martin Kearney leaving Derry Courthouse on bail after being charged for the murder of RUC reserve constable John Proctor. Pacemaker

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A petition sparked by the plight of a Maghera widow whose husband’s killer gets day release from prison despite his short sentence, has gathered the support of almost 3,000 people.

June McMullan’s husband John Proctor was shot by IRA gunman Seamus Kearney outside the Ulster Hospital in Magherafelt after he had been to visit her and their newborn son in September, 1981.

June McMullan with baby son John seven months after his father was killed visiting him in hospital. Pacemaker 1982

June McMullan with baby son John seven months after his father was killed visiting him in hospital. Pacemaker 1982

Kearney, now 58, was handed a 20-year jail term for murdering the 25-year-old RUC reserve but as he was convicted after the Good Friday Agreement will serve just two years and is due for release this November.

Although branding the two-year sentence “a joke” at the time, June said her “prayers were answered” when Kearney was found guilty in November 2013.

But in March we reported on the family’s “deep hurt” after the Swatragh man requested day release over St Patrick’s weekend.

This latest appeal, which is featured on campaign website Change.org, is to be presented to Justice Minister David Ford in September.

Funeral of John Proctor. Pacemaker 1981

Funeral of John Proctor. Pacemaker 1981

It asks him to “stop terrorists convicted under the GFA [Good Friday Agreement] getting day release during their two years in prison”.

Click this link for the petition.

John Proctor (25)  Reserve RUC man shot dead outside the Mid Ulster Hospital. Pacemaker 1981

John Proctor (25) Reserve RUC man shot dead outside the Mid Ulster Hospital. Pacemaker 1981