Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Double murder accused protests innocence

A man accused of stabbing two teenage friends to death yesterday declared that he “definitely” had nothing to do with their killings.

Giving evidence at Belfast Crown Court for the second day, defence QC John McCrudden asked Steven Brown if he had played “any hand, act or part” in the murders of Andrew Robb and David McIlwaine but was told firmly: “Definitely not.”

Brown, also known as Steven Revels, further claimed the evidence of his one-time co-accused turned supergrass Mark Burcombe was “lies”.

The 28-year-old, from Castle Place in Castlecaulfield, denies murdering the teenagers on February 19, 2000. It is the Crown case that the victims were lured to their deaths after Andrew allegedly made a disparaging comment about the murder of Richard Jameson who has been described in court as a “commander of the UVF in Portadown”.

Andrew (19) and 18-year-old David were then driven to a road on the outskirts of Tandragee where they were stabbed. They suffered multiple wounds including horrific injuries to their throats and stomachs. Yesterday Brown denied the friends had been drinking in his house on the night they were killed.

He told Mr Justice Gillen that he and Noel Dillon had been in the house after going to a bar when there was a knock at door and he answered it to find two men looking for a party at a woman’s house.

“I said you’ve got the wrong house, patted him on the back, and he walked off,” claimed Brown.

Previously Burcombe had claimed the pair were invited into the house for a drink but Brown told Mr McCrudden the “two boys” who called did not come in.

During his evidence Burcombe, from the Ballynahinch Road in Lisburn, also told the court he saw Brown stab David, that Brown threatened to “cut his throat” if he told anyone and that while at a court appearance at Newry, Brown told him to allege two men “lifted” him before ordering him to implicate Brown in the murders or his family would be shot.

He claimed the story from Newry Court was actually the other way around in that Burcombe told him he had been “lifted”, had a gun put in his mouth and ordered to implicate Brown.

Brown admitted when initially questioned by police, he had not mentioned having a drink with Burcombe the day after the murders and claimed he had not done so for fear that Burcombe was “a UVF man” and if he was then arrested, “I would have been shot”.

Brown claimed that tyre tracks found at the bloody scene which were similar to those on his Peugot 205 car was a “coincidence”.

The trial continues.

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