A killer who glued his victim's lips together as she lay dying is set to be allowed to register in prison as a Christian.
Adrian Hayes launched a High Court challenge over his religious status and worship rights within Maghaberry Jail where he is serving a minimum 17-year sentence.
Hayes (35) was convicted of murdering 21-year-old Julie Tennant by pummelling and suffocating her at his home in Ballymena, Co Antrim.
Hayes brought judicial review proceedings against a denial of private ecclesiastical visits in the prison chapel which would allow him the opportunity for prayer. A second challenge centred on the refusal to allow him to be classified as just Christian, rather than as a particular denomination.
The murderer, originally from Broughshane, Co Antrim, first classed himself as ‘nil religion’ when he was imprisoned in 2002 after a unanimous guilty verdict.
But Hayes, who is said to be studying theology, later registered as Presbyterian after receiving visits from a minister.
Since then, however, he has had meetings with Pentecostal representatives but does subscribe to all aspects of their faith, according to his lawyers.
The court was told yesterday that moves have been made to enable him to register his religion in the way sought.
His apparent conversion came after he was convicted of luring Ms Tennant back to his home before subjecting her to a ferocious attack.
During his trial it emerged that he superglued her lips together as she lay moaning.
His barrister argued that freedom of thought, conscience and religion rights under the European Convention on Human Rights were at stake.
A resolution to the case is expected to be confirmed in court later this month.