A DISSIDENT republican cheerleader who murdered prison officer Adrian Ismay in 2016 was today told he will serve at least 22 years in prison.
West Belfast terrorist supporter Christopher Robinson, 50, was convicted of the murder of the respected prison officer in January this year, and received a mandatory life sentence.
Today’s tariff setting will mean he will serve a minimum of 22 years in prison before being eligible to apply for release with the Parole Commissioners.
Father-of-three Adrian Ismay was injured by a device under his vehicle which exploded in Hillsborough Drive, east Belfast on 4th March, 2016.
The 52 year old tragically passed away in hospital 11 days later as a result of the injuries he sustained in the explosion.
Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Major Investigation Team have welcomed today’s lengthy prison sentence.
Detective Superintendent Richard Campbell said: “First and foremost, our thoughts are very much with the family and loved ones of Adrian Ismay who will be reliving the horror of what happened more than four and a half years ago.
“They face their own life sentence as they will never see Mr Ismay again.
“Their lives have been shattered.
“The life sentence given to Christopher Robinson for this brutal and horrific killing is deserving.
“He knew Mr Ismay as they volunteered together in the local community but callously betrayed him by his involvement in planting an explosive device under the prison officer’s van just because of how he earned his living.
“Adrian Ismay, who was a husband and a father, was a hard-working man who had left his home that Friday morning to do his job and to keep people safe. He did not know that Christopher Robinson had planned to kill him.
“Early that morning the bomb exploded while Mr Ismay was driving through a busy residential area in East Belfast.
“This further illustrates just how reckless the attack was and that Christopher Robinson simply did not care how many people were killed or injured.
“What happened to Mr Ismay was horrific, and nothing or no one can ever justify such a cowardly and senseless attack as he underwent his daily business.
“We know today’s sentencing will not take away the pain and heartache felt each day by his family, however, we hope it will bring them some comfort in knowing that his killer is behind bars.
“It should also act as a deterrent to anyone involved in terrorism within our community that we, as your Police Service, will investigate these offences robustly and do all we can to bring offenders to justice.”