Belfast Telegraph

Ravenhill Court murders: Police get more time to question suspect

BY CHRIS KILPATRICK

Detectives investigating the murders of a couple in Belfast have been given another 30 hours to question a suspect.

The 33-year-old man in police custody is believed to be a former partner of Caron Smyth (40), who was murdered alongside Finbar McGrillen (42) in the living room of a flat in Ravenhill Court in the east of the city on Friday.

They are understood to have been stabbed.

The man, arrested by police on Saturday, was initially to be held until today by which point detectives would have had to charge or release him.

But yesterday a court granted police an additional 30 hours to quiz the suspect.

Mr McGrillen is believed to have been previously living in Castlewellan, and was the father of two girls, Nicole and Katie.

Ms Smyth was originally from Drumaness, just outside Ballynahinch in Co Down.

Her family said they were still trying to piece together what had happened to Ms Smyth.

They said they had no idea why somebody would want to kill her.

Both families and police are awaiting the results of post-mortem examinations.

Police officers found the couple's bodies after a report from a member of the public regarding serious damage to the Ravenhill Court property's front door.

It is believed the victims had been living in the flat.

PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Una Jennings said the killer may have been in a relationship with one of the victims.

Adam Newton, chairman of the District Policing and Community Safety Partnership and a DUP councillor for the area, said the murders were "very worrying".

"This is a quiet neighbourhood and a brutal event such as this can strike fear into the community."

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