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Man confesses to murder of Craigavon nurse and is sentenced to life in prison

A man who brutally murdered a Craigavon nurse on Christmas Day 2017 has been sentenced to life behind bars.

Nathan Ward pleaded guilty to the murder of Jayne Toal Reat in Mornington Lane, Lisburn.

The 20-year-old also pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Ms Reat’s daughter and maliciously wounding his own father.

There were emotional scenes at Craigavon Crown Court this morning (Thursday) as Ward, dressed in a black t-shirt and grey track bottoms, was re-arraigned on all charges, meaning the victim’s family will not have to endure a criminal trial later this year.

None of the facts around the case have ever been heard in court but 43-year-old nurse died in her daughter Charlotte’s arms after an incident at their house.

The judge said there was only one sentence that could be imposed for murder and that was life imprisonment.

The prosecution asked for a victim impact statement to be prepared, with the case now taken to March 8 where a minimum tariff will be imposed.

Pre-sentence and psychiatric reports will be completed in the interim period.

At the end of the hearing, Ward, of Mornington Lane, Lisburn, was led from the dock in handcuffs before being taken to Maghaberry prison.

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