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Stephen Hunter and Samuel Atcheson Sentenced for the Brutal Murder of Donald Fraser-Rennie

On September 29th, 2020, a vicious and sustained attack took place in Ballymena, resulting in the death of Donald Fraser-Rennie. On May 2nd, 2023, Stephen Hunter and Samuel Atcheson were finally sentenced for their crimes.

The Murder of Donald Fraser-Rennie

Donald Fraser-Rennie, a 33-year-old man, was found dead in a flat in Ballymena on September 30th, 2020. The day before, he had been brutally attacked by Stephen Hunter and Samuel Atcheson, who were under the influence of alcohol at the time.

CCTV footage showed the three men purchasing alcohol before heading to Atcheson’s flat. It was here that the violent attack took place, with Hunter and Atcheson inflicting multiple injuries on Fraser-Rennie.

The attack was captured on Hunter’s mobile phone, with the footage showing a distressingly violent beating. The video clip had been deleted before Hunter’s phone was seized, but it was recovered by the police’s Cyber Crime Unit.

After the attack, Hunter and Atcheson tried to destroy evidence, including their clothing. It wasn’t until the following day, in the early hours of September 30th, that emergency services were finally contacted.

Donald’s family was left devastated by his death, and the impact of this tragic loss will be felt for years to come.

The Sentencing

After pleading guilty to the murder, Stephen Hunter and Samuel Atcheson were sentenced on May 2nd, 2023. Hunter was ordered to serve a minimum of 15 years in custody, while Atcheson was sentenced to a minimum of 16 years.

These sentences reflect the severity of the crime committed and the devastating impact it has had on Fraser-Rennie’s family and friends.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Inspector Claire McGarvey praised the efforts of her team and colleagues in the Public Prosecution Service for bringing the defendants to justice. She also expressed her condolences to Fraser-Rennie’s loved ones, acknowledging that no amount of justice could ease their pain.

Impact on Fraser-Rennie’s Family

The murder of Donald Fraser-Rennie has had a profound impact on his family and friends. They have been left to pick up the pieces and try to come to terms with the tragic loss of a son, fiancé, and father.

No amount of justice can bring Donald back or undo the pain and suffering inflicted upon his loved ones. However, the sentencing of Hunter and Atcheson provides some measure of closure and accountability for their actions.

The sentencing of Stephen Hunter and Samuel Atcheson for the murder of Donald Fraser-Rennie provides some measure of justice for this tragic loss. However, it also serves as a sobering reminder of the devastating impact of violence and the importance of taking responsibility for our actions.

We extend our deepest condolences to Donald Fraser-Rennie’s family and friends during this difficult time. May they find comfort and healing as they navigate this unimaginable loss.


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