How pig farmer went from millionaire to murderer as wife wins £750k divorce while he serves life for shotgun slaying | The Sun

The wife of a millionaire pig farmer turned murderer has won a £750,000 divorce payout – while he serves life for a shotgun slaying.

James Seales, 66, from County Down, was jailed for the 2012 murder of Philip Strickland – after claiming he had been at home watching Emmerdale.

Now his ex-wife Alison has won three-quarters of the couple's £1million fortune.

She told the High Court that she was "terrified" of her killer ex-husband – and that she was"psychologically scarred from her many years of living in an abusive relationship".

Judge Evan Bell said that Seales' "conduct in the carrying out of a murder" barred him from getting an equal share.

Seales, a former member of the Ulster Volunteer Force, was jailed in 2014 for at least 15 years after he killed Philip Strickland with a shotgun.

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His sons Ian and Jason Weir were also jailed for their part in the brutal murder.

The jury heard how Seales ordered Strickland to remove a cannabis factory which he had secretly run on the farmer's land.

Seales was later stabbed and beaten with iron bars by a gang of men including Strickland, breaking his arms – before the men urinated on him.

Offensive graffiti and Facebook comments soon appeared slamming Seales.

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Strickland was also known to have stolen 10,000 Ecstasy tablets from drug dealer Stephen McCaughey, a comrade of Seales in the Ulster Volunteer Force – the most notorious of Northern Ireland's Loyalist militias.

Seales, his sons and McCaughey then ambushed Strickland at a yard on the outskirts of Comber, County Down.

They shot Strickland in the leg and bundled him into his car, which he had bought the day before.

The men then drove the car to a nearby road, where Strickland was blasted again in the face.

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McCaughey, from the West Winds Estate, was jailed for life with a minimum tariff of ten years.

Jason Weir was sentenced to nine and a half years – while Ian, who testified against his dad, was only jailed for four.

Mr Justice Weir told Seales: "You were the prime mover, director and controller of these wicked events.

"You took charge of this operation. You brought the loaded shotgun.

"You fired the first shot and you directed the bundling of the injured Mr Strickland in to his own car.

"If you didn’t actually fire the second shot, I am satisfied that you directed it."

Local media has reported that a fifth UVF member involved in the killing is thought to remain at large.


The shameless pig farmer said in 2020 that lost CCTV footage from his home would have proved his innocence.

Seales said that he was watching Emmerdale in his County Down farmhouse on the night of Strickland's murder – and called cops when he saw a stranger's car on his drive.

Speaking from the loyalist wing of Maghaberry Prison, he told the Belfast Telegraph: "The CCTV will show that I never left the house.

"After I was arrested, the recording disappeared. It was lifted out of the house.

"I'm now trying to get it back because it proves I had nothing to do with killing Philip Strickland."

Seales claimed that he only went to the scene of the murder because Jason Weir asked him for "back-up" in a fight.

But the court heard how Weir burned Strickland's blood-spattered car in a deliberate effort to destroy evidence.

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Seales also denied claim made against him in court that he offered his sons £500,000 to take the rap for the killing.

Trial judge Mr Justice Weir said the evidence against Seales was "formidable" – despite the farmer's protests.

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