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Christian jail visitor falls in love with murderer who glued victim's lips together

By Joanne Fleming

Published 01/02/2016

Prison relationship: Adele Best
Prison relationship: Adele Best
Prison relationship: Adrian Hayes

A Christian jail visitor has fallen in love with one of Northern Ireland's most notorious murderers.

Adele Best, a 39-year-old mother from Bangor, was planning to marry sadistic killer Adrian Hayes, who super-glued the lips of the young woman he murdered.

Ignoring family and friends who warned she was "crazy to get involved", she began dating Hayes in 2011. The 13-month engagement was called off, however, last week after she was contacted by the Sunday Life. On Friday she failed in a High Court bid to prevent the newspaper naming her.

The born-again Christian, who admits to a hedonistic lifestyle with drug use before her conversion, has been speaking openly about the relationship online, saying that God had chosen Hayes as her "Godly husband".

Broughshane man Hayes is nearing the end of a minimum 17-year sentence for murdering 21-year-old Ballymena woman Julie Tennant in August 2000.

The murder shocked Northern Ireland, with the judge saying Hayes had subjected Julie to "pitiless humiliation" and shown no remorse. Hayes lured Julie back to his Ballymena home and punched her repeatedly in the face.

As she lay moaning in agony, he super-glued her lips together, later telling police he did so because "the noise was doing my head in".

After Ms Tennant suffocated, he hid her body in the garden shed before burying her in a shallow grave and fleeing to England.

However, Ms Best has claimed he is a changed man. In candid online testimonies on a Christian website, both Hayes and Best have told how they met inside Maghaberry jail, how their relationship developed and of their plans to wed. Hayes said it was love at first sight when Ms Best visited the jail church in 2009. He wrote on the Set Free Prison Ministries website: "While I sat listening to Adele's testimony I heard the Lord say to me three times in my head, 'This is your future wife'."

Ms Best wrote about how she had instantly been drawn to Hayes as she delivered her testimony to inmates. However, after the Sunday Life contacted Best, she broke off her engagement.

Belfast Telegraph

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