Loyalist gets 30 years for murders
Friday 03 April 2009
The 28-year-old, also known as Steven Revels, was told he would serve a minimum of 30 years over the frenzied knife attack on Andrew Robb (19) and David McIlwaine (18) that shocked Northern Ireland.
The badly-mutilated bodies of the two teenagers were discovered on an isolated country road close to Tandragee, Co Armagh in February 2000.
They were found lying on the blood-spattered road with their throats cut and severe stab wounds to their stomachs.
Brown, from Castle Place, Castlecaulfield, was convicted of the barbaric attack at Belfast Crown Court last month.
Sentencing Brown today Mr Justice Gillen said that the murders were “among the most gruesome of the past 40 years”.
He added: “They represent unbridled mindless violence and a total disregard for the value and dignity of human life.”
The judge went on to say that the killings had brought “unimaginable anguish and grief” for the families of the two victims.
In court today dressed in a beige tracksuit top and white T-shirt, with a shaved head and goatee beard, Brown showed little emotion as legal representatives discussed gruesome details of the brutal killing.
He sat staring straight ahead, at times biting his lip and dropping his head towards the ground.
The public gallery was packed with family members of both victims, Mrs Robb looking particularly drawn.
Along with ‘supergrass’ Mark Burcombe and Noel Dillon, who has since killed himself, the friends had been drinking in Brown’s Tandragee flat when Andrew spoke derogatorily about UVF commander Richard Jameson, who had been gunned down by the LVF two weeks earlier.
Incensed by the comment about his friend, Brown hatched his plan to slaughter the teenagers and after driving them to the isolated Druminure Road just outside the town on the pretence of looking for a drugs party, butchered them with a large knife.
Burcombe, who was once a co-accused of Brown but turned ‘Queen’s evidence’, recounted to the trial how he saw Brown repeatedly drive the knife into David McIlwaine as he lay wheezing and prone on the ground.
Urging the judge to consider age and background as mitigating factors in sentencing, defence barrister John McCrudden QC said: “This is a very damaged young man. It is very rare that one deals with a person whose father was a murderer but whose father murdered his mother.” He also alleged his client had been vulnerable in that he had been under the influence of a “horrific” older man (Dillon) and was drunk.
Judge Gillen said: “Once I accept age as a mitigating factor then that opens up his background. Not only is he a 19-year-old man but he is a 19-year-old man damaged by his parents.”
Mr McCrudden also claimed: “There is no evidence that the killing of Mr McIlwaine was planned. There is no evidence that Mr Brown knew until the very last moment that a murder had been planned by Dillon.
“Dillon was almost two times the age of the accused. We will never know that Mr Brown knew there was a murder intended of Mr Robb until the last moments he then became involved in that murder,” he told the court.
In a website statement posted ahead of the hearing, David McIlwaine’s father Paul said: “We are due back in court this week to hear the tariff set by judge Gillen. We expect a severe and lengthy penalty, so fingers crossed.”
* This article is from the Belfast Telegraph.
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo