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Harry Holland family tell of distress that their father's killer will be set free

The widow and daughters of of Harry Holland pictured in 2009 outside court following the sentencing of Stephen McKee for the murder of the popular greengrocer.

THE family of murdered greengrocer Harry Holland have said those involved in the attack have never shown any remorse for his killing as the man convicted of his murder prepares for release from prison.

The 65 year-old father of four, was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver outside his home in September 2007.

Two of Mr Holland's daughters have told of their distress after learning that Stephen McKee, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the attack, is to be freed on a phased release programme.

Now aged 25, McKee will be released on day release probation to prepare him for living full time back in the community.

McKee, then 16, was with his 15-year-old sister Niamh and friend Patrick Crossan, when Mr Holland was attacked outside his west Belfast home.

All three were originally charged with murder.

However, in 2009, McKee changed his plea to guilty and the murder charge was dropped against Crossan and Niamh McKee.

Crossan was instead sentenced to four years for affray and possession of a knife while Niamh McKee escaped prison.

She was sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to affray and common assault.

 

While in jail McKee was sentenced to an extra 10 months for having an imitation firearm during an incident when he stepped out in front of a motorist on the Falls Road in June 2007.

In 2014 Crossan was shot in the legs a paramilitary style assault in Turf Lodge in west Belfast. The shooting was claimed by Oglaigh na hEireann.

Sarah Holland, who is now a Dublin Sinn Féin councillor, said those involved had never shown any remorse for the attack which left hr father dead.

She claimed that members of her family have been "jeered at" in the street by Niamh McKee.

"We have missed my dad every day and there have been so many occasions when I needed his advice and couldn't get it.

"He (McKee) will eventually be allowed out on licence ... free to live his life".

Her sister Méabha said of her father's attackers; "They walk around with their heads in the air as bold as brass acting victims."

"I think it is important that the public are reminded what these animals did to my poor daddy, my best friend.

"McKee's life sentence is nearly finished, ours will be taken to the grave", she added.

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