Belfast Telegraph

Ian Paisley Jnr: 'I wanted to kill man who took picture of my sick father as he lay in hospital bed'

By Peter Cardwell

The Paisley family has broken its silence over an incident where a nursing auxillary photographed former First Minister Ian Paisley as he lay gravely ill on a hospital bed and then published it on the internet.

North Antrim MP, Ian Paisley Jr, said of the nursing auxiliary, Stacey Crawford: "I wanted to get the guy and kill him, I wanted to strangle him."

In an exclusive interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Paisley revealed Crawford took the sheets off his father's hospital bed to take the photograph.

Mr Paisley also revealed the Public Prosecution Service originally decided not to prosecute Crawford. It was only after Mr Paisley lobbied its director, Barra McGrory QC, that a new investigation was launched.

"If I hadn't had the gall to go to back in and said to the public proscecutor, I want this pushed again, that chap would still be free in my view, and could still be committing these things," he said.

A PPS spokesperson said: "We can confirm that following a meeting with the director, Barra McGrory QC, the case was reviewed and further evidence identified and a decision was taken to prosecute."

Mr Paisley also insisted police looked into Crawford's computer, something he claims they had not done during the original investigation. Police ultimately found child abuse images on Crawford's computer.

Crawford took his own life just before Christmas in 2012, after appearing at Newtownards Magistrates Court in November 2012 on child abuse images charges.

Crawford, a father of three originally from Carrickfergus, was summarily dismissed from the hospital shortly after the photograph of Rev Paisley came to light. The Ulster Hospital immediately and formally apologised to the Paisley family.

Lord Bannside, who was made a peer in 2010, was admitted at the start of February 2012 suffering from apparent heart failure. At one stage, he was in intensive care.

"The Ulster Hospital were completely and totally aghast, as we were, that one of their staff had done this," Mr Paisley said.

"He [Crawford] had abused his standing as a nurse, he had abused a vulnerable adult when dad was in a state of complete and total reliance for care and protection.

"To dare to go into my father and to dare to try to take provocative pictures of him ... I wanted to kill the guy.

"But I believe in the rule of law, and the gentleman was very lucky that I believe in those principles.

"I also believe that two wrongs don't make a right, and no one should take the law into their own hands."

Mr Paisley said his whole family was appalled when the PPS originally didn't want to press charges.

"We were worried that if we let this guy away with that, he would go into the private sector and get on to this again," he said.

"We were all incredibly angry about it and we were just really furious.

"We used the system and the process to protect my father further."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph