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Fireman to serve 20yrs jail.

Byline: MIRROR REPORTER

A FIRE chief turned "brutal and merciless" killer was told yesterday he must serve at least 20 years in jail.

Neil Gordon Graham, 40, was convicted last month and given a life sentence for murdering his lover's husband in May 2000.

After battering his rival, who can't be named for legal reasons, in the bedroom of his Co Antrim home, Graham ransacked the house to make it appear like a burglary.

Belfast Crown Court judge Mr Justice McLaughlin described Graham, from Wheatfield in Ballygowan in Co Down, as "a mature man, blessed with intelligence and many gifts".

He added: "It is arguable that someone given so many of life's gifts should pay an even higher price. You put him to death because you coveted his wife. In my assessment he was subjected to gratuitous violence."

Father-of-three Graham intends to appeal his conviction.

CAPTION(S):

MURDER: Graham
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 19, 2002
Words:149
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