'Brutal execution' – Four jailed for murder of man shot in front of three-year-old son

'Brutal execution' – Four jailed for murder of man shot in front of three-year-old son

FOUR people have been jailed for the 2017 murder of a man in Co. Down who was shot in front of his three-year-old son.

Colin Horner, 35, had just put his son in his car seat after leaving a supermarket in Bangor when he was shot several times on May 28, 2017.

He was rushed to hospital but was later pronounced dead.

Today, Alan James Wilson, 30, of North Green, Newtownards, and Ryan Graham Smyth, 31, of Windsor Gardens, were sentenced to 16 years.

Joseph Blair, 35, of Shackleton Walk, Newtownards, was sentenced to 15-and-a-half years and Robert Ralph, 47, of Donaghadee Road, Newtownards was jailed for 15 years.

All four had entered guilty pleas.


Police investigating the murder, which they believed was linked to a UDA feud, welcomed the sentencing.

“It is inconceivable that Colin’s son, who was just a toddler at the time, had to witness his father’s murder and this is a memory that he will carry with him for the rest of his life,” said Detective Chief Inspector Peter McKenna.

“Colin was also the father of a little girl who was just two years old when her Daddy was taken in such a callous manner.”

He added: “This reckless shooting took place in broad daylight, on a Bank Holiday weekend in a busy supermarket car park which was packed with local shoppers and their children.

“These killers gave no regard to the trauma that they were causing to those who witnessed the brutal execution.

“The very normal routine of families buying food for Sunday dinners, barbecues and packed lunches for the week ahead turned into a nightmare as bullets were fired across the car park.”

A man and a woman were also sentenced after they pled guilty to withholding information about the murder.

Adrian Gordon Price, 48, from Newtownards was sentenced to 12 months, suspended for two years and Terrie Aicken, 24, from Conlig was sentenced to three months, suspended for 12 months.