A man jailed for at least 30 years for the double murder of two teenage friends is to appeal his conviction, it has emerged.
Steven Leslie Brown (28) was imprisoned for the killings of David McIlwaine (18) and Andrew Robb (19) nine years ago.
The victims' badly mutilated bodies were discovered on an isolated country road near Tandragee, Co Armagh in February 2000. They had been stabbed repeatedly in the stomach and had their throats cut.
A judge who sentenced UVF man Brown — also known as Steven Revels — described the murders as “among the most gruesome of the past 40 years in Northern Ireland”.
Brown, formerly of Castle Place, Castlecaulfied, was found guilty in March based on evidence supplied by Mark Burcombe, who was present when the teenagers were killed.
Burcombe, from Ballynahinch Road in Lisburn, was initially charged with the murders, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge after agreeing to testify against Brown.
The murder trial heard that the victims were drinking with Brown, Burcombe and another man, Noel Dillon, who has since killed himself.
Andrew Robb is alleged to have made derogatory remarks about Ulster Volunteer Force commander Richard Jameson, who had been gunned down by the rival Loyalist Volunteer Force two weeks previously.
According to the prosecution Brown took exception to the comments, and drove the group to a remote area where the friends — who had no paramilitary connections — were killed.
Lawyers for Brown confirmed in the Court of Appeal yesterday they were seeking transcripts from the case as part of a planned challenge to the conviction. The case was adjourned until November.