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Victim Lily ‘can now rest in peace’

By Lesley-Anne Henry

For the cold-hearted killer who is starting a 25-year jail term there will be plenty of time to pray for redemption.

Lily Smyth (66) was beaten, choked and sexually abused her flat in Finaghy in 1988. And for 20 years agonising years her family waited for justice.

Yesterday her elderly sister, Angelina Robinson (79) and niece Phyllis Robinson saw that much anticipated justice delivered.

Her two brothers John ,who lives in England, and Cecil, who resides in Canada, will also welcome the result.

“It is a great result. We are very pleased. We are just really glad to have it finished and done with. Now we can move on and my Aunt Lily can rest in peace. Justice was done,” Mrs Montgomery told reporters.

Miss Smyth, a retired civil servant who never married, had no children and lived alone, was described as a church-going charity worker who was extremely vulnerable. She was “no match” for her 24-year-old football playing killer.

Throughout the trial Stevenson denied culpability leaving many unanswered questions over the motive.

Prosecution barrister Fiona Kane told how the killing had, had a “terrible effect” on the family.

The court also heard how Stevenson “didn’t want” to appear in the dock and in an unprecedented move was permitted to appear via videolink from Maghabbery prison.

During the hour-long hearing he sat stern faced — his dark, sunken eyes staring straight ahead. He wore a grey v-neck sweater with a white T-shirt below with gold crucifix necklace.

He showed no emotion as the list of brutal injuries inflicted on Miss Smyth was read to the court.

However as the judge handed down the heavy sentence he mouthed ‘no’, let out an exasperated sigh and then dropped his head into his hands. He didn’t lift his head again.

Where detectives and Miss Smyth’s relatives sat there were sighs of relief at the “great result”.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph