Ex ‘C’ company thug moved to open jail
A notorious knife killer and suspected UDA gunman is close to being freed from prison after more than 20 years behind bars.
Andrew Robinson (42) has been moved from the high-security Maghaberry Prison to an open jail where he is allowed out to attend daily work placements and visit family.
If the convicted murderer behaves himself on the phased release scheme, he could be fully freed next year.
The prospect of Robinson back on the streets will horrify the relatives of victim Julie-Ann Osborne, who he stabbed more than 40 times during the 2000 Christmas holidays.
The thug, a member of Johnny Adair’s UDA ‘C Company’, killed the “gentle and kind” mother of his child because she threatened to leave him after months of domestic violence.
Robinson is barred from entering sections of Belfast’s Shankill Road while on pre-release in case he were to bump into any of the Osborne family. However, that has not allayed their fears.
One family friend said: “Julie-Ann’s relatives have been dreading the day that evil b*****d gets out of jail. He should be behind bars for life for what he did to that wee girl.”
Robinson stabbed Julie-Ann to death on December 27 three weeks after he was questioned by police about the attempted murder of a Catholic on Oldpark Road in north Belfast.
The victim, a taxi driver, was shot multiple times by a pillion passenger on a motorbike which was abandoned a short distance away.
On Boxing Day 2000, after suffering yet another beating at the hands of Robinson which left her face badly bruised, Julie-Ann summoned up the courage to leave him and take their young daughter.
Unable to handle the rejection, the monster broke into her home on Shankill Terrace and repeatedly cut the throat of the defenceless 22-year-old, who weighed just seven-and-a-half stone.
Robinson then tried to cover up the killing, pretending he found Julie-Ann’s body in the house and claiming that she had been attacked by an intruder. He shouted in front of neighbours that he would “kill the b******s” who murdered his fiancee.
But the courts saw through his ruse, with the judge saying: “He sought to conceal his involvement in the crime, engaging in an elaborate charade of pretending to find the body and claiming preposterously that Julie-Ann had been murdered by an intruder.
“It was a culmination of acts of violence committed on her over a period of time when she lived with you. The evidence against you was overwhelming.
“You killed a girl who, by all accounts, was gentle and kind, but who endured cruelty and ultimately death at your hands.”
Robinson tried to use his UDA connections to intimidate witnesses who gave evidence at his trial, but they ignored the threats and bravely took the stand to give evidence against him.
Outside court, Julie-Ann’s dad Tom called for the death penalty to be reintroduced for his daughter’s killer.
The Osborne family friend added: “Because Robinson was in the UDA and up Johnny Adair’s hole, he thought he could get away with anything, including killing Julie-Ann.”
Even after being sentenced to life with a minimum 20-year term, Robinson continued to explode in violent rages. While behind bars in Maghaberry Prison, he got into a fist fight with fellow murderer Victor Kennedy, who poured a bucket of bleach over him, causing serious burns. The two had earlier rowed over money.