Adele Best made a failed bid at Belfast’s High Court on Friday to prevent Sunday Life revealing her relationship with Adrian Hayes — the notorious killer who glued his young female victim’s lips together.
She was keen to keep her engagement to the murderer secret from work colleagues.
In a sworn affidavit she said she had been in a relationship with Maghaberry inmate Hayes since 2011 and that they had hoped to marry in May this year.
But she ended their relationship on January 26 — just days after a Sunday Life reporter called at her door — “due to the pressures on my myself and my family as a result of my connection with him”.
The Bangor woman sought an interim injunction barring the paper naming her, arguing it was a misuse of private information.
“I am employed full-time in a management role in a large and well known Belfast business. My work colleagues do not know that I was engaged to Mr Hayes. I am extremely concerned about the impact that a story of this nature, told in this way, will have on my professional reputation and on my ability to my job,” she said.
But Sunday Life said the information was already in the public domain — put on the internet by Best and Hayes themselves.
Hayes named Adele Best as his fiancee on a Christian website and both had told the stories of how they met and fell in love on the same publicly accessible site. Best had also posted a posed romantic photo of the pair on her Facebook site, albeit she had not named her fiance. She claimed she meant to set the photo to “private”, available to friends only.
Sunday Life also pointed out that far from keeping her personal life private Best appeared in a number of videos, audio and written online material discussing her experiences with drugs, sex, the occult, unplanned pregnancies, abortions and her Christian conversion. In her role as an anti-abortion group leader and campaigner she had placed information about her personal life in the public domain — this included an interview posted on YouTube.
In court Ms Best’s barrister argued that despite the public disclosures concerning the relationship, the material remained of an intensely private nature and that her privacy rights had not been waived by “limited” disclosure.
But noting the amount of material already in the public domain Mr Justice Treacy said the applicant was unlikely to be able to establish at trial that the information at issue was of an intensely private nature in the circumstances and he rejected her injunction application, awarding costs against her.
Gerald Simpson QC appeared for Sunday Life instructed by Fergal McGoldrick of Carson McDowell Solicitors.
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