Former drug-taking party girl Adele Best had found God only months before she was allowed into Maghaberry Prison to tell inmates like Adrian Hayes of her dramatic conversion.
Adele Best was introduced to killer Hayes by Bangor preacher Martin Tuson who regularly spoke to life sentence inmates inside Maghaberry.
Born again Martin Tuson — who runs Set Free Prison Ministries — claims he has witnessed many miracles inside the jail and he believes Jesus turned water (mixed with blackcurrant cordial) into wine for one Maghaberry inmate who was awaiting trial for murder. Tuson claims on his website that he tasted the wine himself.
Adele Best was 33 when she first visited Maghaberry jail in 2009 — a visit which had a profound impact on Hayes who claims God immediately told him that she would be his bride.
It is not known exactly what Best said in her jail testimony but in three accounts of her conversion on Mr Tuson’s website she gives a flavour of her previous life of casual sex, partying and drug abuse.
Adele, now a respectable manager with a leading firm, tells how she was a rebellious middle-class Bangor teenager who toyed with the occult and got “sucked into the world of drinking, drugs and parties”. From 18 and into her 20s she was smoking hash, then onto speed, ecstasy, acid and mushrooms.
She claimed Jesus tried to talk to her during a time when she was “sin drenched” but she thought it was drug induced hallucinations.
Among the experiences she discusses are taking coke and mushrooms in Thailand and smoking crack cocaine in Istanbul to numb her grief and regret following her second abortion.
She says she was finally saved while living in New York aged 33 — just months before her return to Bangor.
“I realised my life was an absolute mess as I hadn’t been living the way the Lord tells us to in His Holy Word...I repented of all my fornications, sex outside of marriage, drugs, drink, every evil thing I had done. I got down on my knees in my tiny flat in New York and asked the Lord to help me get back to wherever I should be....”
In Martin Tuson’s 2014 book Free On The Inside, he explained how much to his own surprise in 2005 he was given a pass for pastoral visits at Maghaberry which allowed him access to inmates in their cells.
He says for the next three-and-half-years he was “free to minister every Friday to any prisoner who was willing for me to pray for them”. He added: “No restrictions were placed upon me to what I could say or the cells I could visit. In fact the only person I had to answer to was God.”
He says on his website that he was not accompanied by Prison Service staff while making a documentary “Behind Prison Walls” with life sentence prisoners at Maghaberry. It featured armed robber Joe Lockhart and child killer Ronnie Graham.
Tuson says a governor later told him that it had been a mistake to allow him to film without supervision.
There is no suggestion that Tuson’s helper at Free Prison Ministries, Adele Best was allowed unsupervised visits at Maghaberry. But questions are likely to be raised over what factors are considered by the Prison Service when allowing visitors to address inmates including convicted murders.
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