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Brother of man murdered in city 15 years ago guilty of drink driving charge

PUBLISHED: 09:14 07 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:32 07 January 2019

An upturned car near the Copper Beech pub in Costessey, with police on the scene. Picture: BRECKLAND POLICE

An upturned car near the Copper Beech pub in Costessey, with police on the scene. Picture: BRECKLAND POLICE

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The brother of a man who was murdered in Norwich more than a decade ago has apologised to his family after being convicted of drink driving.

Terry McGhee leaving Norwich Magistrates Court. PIC: Peter Walsh.Terry McGhee leaving Norwich Magistrates Court. PIC: Peter Walsh.

Terry McGhee, 35, has suffered from depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the murder of his older brother Danny in Norwich in November 2003.

Norwich Magistrates Court heard his depression was “triggered” by his brother’s death since when he had become “alcohol dependent”.

McGhee who finds this time of year “pretty difficult” had been drinking earlier in the day but had left his home after going to go and get some tobacco papers.

Josephine Jones, prosecuting, said at about 2.08am on December 21 police were called to a crash on the roundabout at Alex Moorhouse Way in Costessey.

Danny McGhee. PIC submitted.Danny McGhee. PIC submitted.

McGhee’s car was found on its side and the defendant was breath-tested.

He was arrested after failing a roadside test and charged with drink driving after he was found to be more than four times the legal limit.

He was found to have 148 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

McGhee, of Queens Hills, Costessey, appeared in court on Friday when he admitted drink driving.

Thomas Cusack. PIC: Adrian Judd.Thomas Cusack. PIC: Adrian Judd.

Claire Edgeler, mitigating, said he has suffered from depression and PTSD for “some considerable time” which was “triggered by the murder of his brother.”

She said this time of year was a “pretty difficult time for him” and described his alcohol use as an ongoing problem.

She added that he was a single man who did not seem to have any family support.

Sentencing in this case was adjourned until after a report by the probation service.

Alan Cockrill, from the service, said he had been spending up to £100 a week on alcohol.

He told Mr Cockrill that although he has suffered since his brother’s murder in 2003 he “does not use this as an excuse” for what he did.

District Judge Nicholas Watson told McGhee that while he accepted he only drove a short distance, drink driving has the potential to “kill someone”.

He said the only sentence he could pass was a custodial one but agreed to suspend the 14 week sentence for two years.

He accepted that the death of his brother had affected him but insisted “that’s not an excuse for drinking, let alone going out and driving while you’re drunk”.

He added: “You yourself don’t seem to blame your brother’s death for the reason why you committed this offence and said it’s not an excuse.”

As well as being given a suspended sentence, he was banned from driving for 30 months, ordered to undertake a thinking skills programme for 30 days, undertake an alcohol treatment requirement fir six months and sentenced to s20 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR).

He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Speaking as he walked free from court McGhee said: “I’m very sorry for what I did and apologise for what I did and I’m sorry to my family.”

As previously reported, Danny McGhee, of William White Place, Norwich, was attacked in a house in Magpie Road in November 2003 after an argument with Thomas Cusack.

Cusack, of Magdalen Street, stabbed Mr McGhee in the neck with a large kitchen knife, which severed a carotid artery - a key artery in the neck.

Mr McGhee collapsed and died shortly afterwards while Cusack went to the Cat and Fiddle pub on Magdalen Street where he was later arrested by police.

Cusack had denied murder, claiming he had been acting in self-defence, but he was found guilty of murder by a jury at Norwich Crown Court in the summer of 2004.

Cusack was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 12 years and 106 days in custody.

Sentencing Cusack, Judge John Blofield said: “I accept what happened was in the height of temper. You went into that room and were prepared to deal with whatever occurred.”

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