A 25-year-old man from north Belfast has been told he will spend at least the next 13 years in jail.

Barry Cavan, from the New Lodge area of the city, admitted the murder of David Corr on 15 March last year.

The body of Mr Corr, who was also from the New Lodge area, was found at his flat. The 24-year-old had been stabbed to death.

Cavan was told he had committed a “brutal, senseless killing”.

Mr Corr, also known as Dee, was a talented skateboarder and busker.

Belfast Crown Court judge Mr Justice Weir said that while Cavan had had a dispute with Mr Corr over the playing of loud music, that could not “begin to explain, never mind justify” the killing.

He emphasised to Cavan that even when he has served the minimum 13-year period, it would be up to the parole commissioners “if and when” he will be released and under what licence conditions.

The judge also told Cavan that the life sentence he was obliged to impose meant that he would forever be liable to be recalled to jail if he breached any of his licence conditions.

Cavan had pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Corr on 15 March 2012.

He sustained 39 wounds in the frenzied attack and while it was a stab wound to the chest that caused his death, many of the injuries he suffered were to his arms and hands.

Cavan, who lived in the flat above his victim, called police himself and told the 999 operator he had killed his neighbour after stabbing him “30 or 40 times”.

When officers rushed to the scene, Cavan was lying face down prone on the hallway floor and confessed immediately.


Mr Justice Weir recalled Cavan had been complaining for three months about the volume levels his neighbour played his music at in the early hours of the morning, complaining to his neighbour, the flats caretaker and Belfast City Council.

He had also told a friend, known only as ‘S’ that he was thinking about stabbing his neighbour.

On the night of the murder Cavan, who had consumed about seven litres of cider had called into his neighbour’s flat about three hours before he launched his attack. He had a kitchen knife with him then.

The judge told the court how Cavan had texted a friend “I’m in his flat now, kitchen knife in pocket” and ‘S’ had told him to get out.

Mr Corr told him he would use headphones to listen to music in future, and Cavan left.

Three hours later Cavan returned to the flat and Mr Justice Weir described how the men were on the sofa.

Cavan “began stabbing him and continued, despite his pleas and screams, to stab and cut him”.

Mr Justice Weir said that from the “wealth of information” he had about Cavan, reports indicated that he had had a “harsh and frightening upbringing”.

He said Cavan had suffered numerous episodes of self-harm and abused alcohol and drugs from an early age. This had led to alcohol dependency syndrome and a diagnosis of a personality disorder.

Mr Justice Weir said although Cavan’s lack of remorse may appear “on the face of it to be a highly callous attitude,” he said he believed it was more to do with his mental state.