Belfast Telegraph

God forgives me for raping woman and shooting her disabled son, says UDA killer Hinton

By Ciaran Barnes and Christopher Woodhouse

A barbaric killer who shot dead a disabled 14-year-old boy after raping his mother at gunpoint says God has forgiven him for the “drunken escapade”.

Trevor ‘Hinty’ Hinton is now often seen in Belfast city centre singing hymns with a little gospel group.

Passers-by don’t realise that the occasional preacher was convicted of a depraved sectarian murder and rape — and that 20 years later he carried out a hatchet attack on a defenceless Catholic man.

He raped Catholic woman Sarah McClenaghan and ignored her pleas for mercy as he shot dead her son David after breaking into their Oldpark home in north Belfast with three other UDA hoods in the early hours of July 12, 1972.

The sectarian psycho was freed from jail in 1989 but three years later he was jailed for 16 years after he and an accomplice ambushed a drunk Catholic man and bludgeoned him with a hammer and a hatchet.

Now born-again Hinton claims God has forgiven him — and he even denies the rape and murder he confessed to in court.

When Sunday Life confronted Bible-bashing Hinton at his home in south Belfast, he brazenly said: “I pleaded guilty on the advice of a solicitor.”

Hinton said: “Did I rape Sarah McClenaghan? No. Did I shoot her son? No.”

However, he refused point blank to say who he believes raped and shot the widow and killed her son, David.

“I showed abject and true remorse when I was in prison and I apologised at the time and to Sarah’s brother Brendan,” he said.

“I have found forgiveness,” said |Hinton.

“It was a stupid drunken escapade that should never have happened. I tried to take my life because I couldn’t live with it.

“In 1973 a prison officer spoke to me about Jesus and gave me a Bible. I’ve been a Christian from that day to this.”

He refused to answer further questions at his home but later rang Sunday Life and said “only the Lord above knows” who committed the murder and rape.

He also complained that he should not have been charged with attempted murder for his 1992 hammer and |hatchet attack on a Catholic man.

Hinton said he hit the victim once with a hammer, adding: “It should only have been a charge of GBH.”

 Hinton is often seen around the city centre with the Belfast Bible Believers group. Sunday Life secretly filmed the ex-loyalist prisoner clapping and singing along with the group as they praised the Lord at the corner of Cornmarket and Donegall Place.

Introducing himself as “Trevor”, he cheerfully told our undercover reporter: “I charge the gear (instruments) up for them at home.

“The Belfast Bible Believers, you call us. I do (sing), but I’ve been sick this last wee while.”

But Hinton was less friendly when a second reporter called at his home to ask him about his depraved crimes. After claiming God had forgiven him he firmly told the reporter to leave.

He later rang to say he prayed every night for the McClenaghan family and his second victim.

Sunday Life was tipped off about Hinton by a former jailbird who was in prison with the killer rapist.

Our source said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw him singing with the |Christians.”

Hinton was released from jail a second time in 2002 and settled in an area of south Belfast. His house is bedecked in loyalist flags and Christian signs.

Neighbours have no idea that the seemingly harmless pensioner, who often uses a mobility scooter, is a violent rapist and killer responsible for one of the most brutal crimes of the Troubles.

When Sunday Life spoke to him at his home, Hinton claimed that he is no longer a member of the Christian group, Belfast Bible Believers, saying that they had recently disbanded.

Vinny Boyle of the Belfast Bible Believers said: “Trevor was very forthright in letting me know about his past and he has shared openly with other members of the group.

“If we do get back together again, Trevor would still be more than |welcome to be a participant.

“Trevor acknowledges that what he did was totally wrong.

“There was no excuse for what he did, to my knowledge Trevor has never went down anything like that road again.

“If I didn’t think he had shown true remorse and honestly repented he would never have been with me.

“It’s the worst case for Trevor |because he still has to live with the memory of that, he still has to live with his conscience.”

Mr Boyle said Hinton was very active and sincere in his witnessing — giving public testimony. He had also donated generously to the group.

maniac

A source, who provided Sunday Life with the photographs of the sex killer clapping along to the gospel band in Belfast, added: “To look at him you wouldn’t have any idea that he was the maniac who raped a woman and then murdered her disabled son in front of her.”

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