Supergrass evidence which helped convict a man of the double murder of two teenage friends was inconclusive, the Court of Appeal has heard.
Lawyers for Steven Leslie Brown (29) claimed the reliance on an account from an ex-associate meant his conviction for killing David McIlwaine (18) and 19-year-old Andrew Robb was unsafe.
The victims' bodies were discovered on an isolated country road near Tandragee, Co Armagh, in February 2000.
They had been stabbed repeatedly in the stomach and their throats were slashed.
Brown, also known as Steven Revels and formerly of Castle Place, Castlecaulfield, was convicted last year and ordered to serve a minimum 30-year prison sentence.
The case against him depended heavily on evidence supplied by Mark Burcombe, from Ballynahinch Road, Lisburn, who is now in a witness protection programme.
Burcombe claimed in evidence that he saw the killer repeatedly put a knife into David McIlwaine as he lay on the ground. He said that Brown later threatened to cut his throat if he told anyone.
Closing Brown's appeal against his conviction, John McCrudden QC said: “This is a case of a manifestly unsafe conviction.”
Reserving judgment in the case, Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan — sitting with Lord Justice Higgins and Mr Justice McCloskey — said they wanted time to consider all of the arguments.