Belfast Telegraph

Lisa Dorrian: Man who denies murdering missing Bangor woman unable to pass lie detector test to prove innocence

Exclusive: I didn't pass Lisa lie detector test, but I'd nothing to do with her death

By Ciaran Barnes

A man who denies murdering missing Bangor woman Lisa Dorrian has been unable to pass a lie detector test to prove his innocence.

Convicted drug dealer Mark Smyth, 31, returned a result of “inconclusive” when he voluntarily took a polygraph test at Sunday Life's offices last Wednesday.

The police suspect was asked the same three specific questions on five different occasions by a registered expert about Lisa's case.

The questions, which required certain “yes” or “no” answers, were:

- Do you know the identities of Lisa Dorrian’s killers?

- Were you involved in the murder of Lisa?

- Did you help dispose of her body?

Smyth answered “no” to all of the |questions but was unable to convince the lie detector that he was telling the truth.

Crucially though, the polygraph was also unable to say for certain that the bodybuilder was lying.

The Bangor man’s “inconclusive” |result is rare and occurs in less than 10 per cent of lie detector tests which boast an accuracy rate of at least 90pc.

Afterwards the stocky weightlifter defiantly protested his innocence and again insisted he had nothing to do with Lisa's 2005 disappearance and murder.

He told Sunday Life: “If I was involved in Lisa's murder I wouldn't have taken the lie detector test.


“I'm p****d off that it has came back inconclusive, it should have been a pass, but at least it shows I wasn't lying.

“I'll do another test to prove my |innocence, in fact I'll do 100, because I had nothing to do with what happened to Lisa.”

Smyth's polygraph test was conducted by Lie Detector Ltd, a Dublin based |company with years of experience and whose findings have been used in court cases and by the media.

He was hooked up to various electronic devices that monitored his heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure.

The instruments tested his reaction to questions about his alleged involvement in the murder of Lisa Dorrian, who was last seen during a party at a Ballyhalbert caravan park in February 2005 when she was aged 25.

Smyth admits giving her a lift the day before she disappeared, but denies having anything to do with the killing.

Although asked to sit still during the lie detector test, and to breathe normally, he fidgeted around and sighed frequently.

This is the likely cause of Smyth's “inconclusive” test results, which prove |neither his innocence or guilt.

Speaking afterwards the murder |suspect said “it was hard to sit still for an hour and to control my breathing, it was really uncomfortable”.

He also revealed that he would happily meet the Dorrian family to tell them he had nothing to do with Lisa's disappearance.

Added Smyth: “I gave her a lift to Ballyhalbert the day before she died, that was the last I seen of her.

“I will meet the Dorrian family to tell them that, I will also meet the police if they want me to.

“When I was arrested the police checked through my mobile phone records which proved I was at my parents’ home in Bangor, and not Ballyhalbert, when Lisa disappeared.

“My life has been ruined by these false accusations.”

Smyth suspects — although he cannot be absolutely certain — that two local drug dealers murdered Lisa and that her body is buried somewhere in north Down.

He also believes the real killers tried to frame him by spreading lies about how he used his boat moored near Bangor to dump her body at sea.

“I only used that boat for fishing, which I've done all my life. The police took it away and forensically tested it and it came back clean,” said Smyth.

Smyth threw down a challenge to the two drug dealers who he suspects |murdered Lisa by asking them to take lie detector tests.

He says that if they are innocent they should have no problem doing a polygraph.

“I have nothing to hide, that's why I volunteered for the lie detector test.


“I’ve also spoken to the police and loyalist paramilitaries who wanted to meet me after my name was written on walls falsely accusing me of killing Lisa.

“If those other two are innocent they should step up to the mark and do a lie |detector test.

“I don't think they will though, because they are afraid of being caught out,” |predicted Smyth.

Police believe Lisa may have been |attacked over a drug debt, and that her killers initially did not mean to murder her.

With a dead body on their hands they then hatched a cruel plan to hide it away so that they could never be charged.

This is a theory shared by Mark Smyth who is insistent that Lisa is buried |somewhere in north Down.

He said: “I'm convinced Lisa's buried in the ground. I don't think she was thrown in the sea, those lies were spread to frame me.”

Mark Smyth added: “If Lisa's killers are reading this, which I'm sure they are, I'd ask them to do the right thing for her family. I'd ask them to tell the police where she is so that her parents can give her a proper burial.”

Repeat offender says he's ready to put life of crime behind him

Lisa Dorrian murder suspect Mark Smyth was jailed less than 24 hours after taking Sunday Life’s lie detector test, but then freed on appeal minutes later.

The 31-year-old, who has 62 criminal convictions, was sentenced to three months last Thursday for dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, failing to stop for police and having no insurance.

Banning him from driving for a further five years, Belfast Magistrate Fiona Bagnall branded Smyth’s behaviour “atrocious” and said it was fortunate no one was killed.

But Smyth was later freed after appealing against the severity of his sentence.


The charges he faced relate to a road rampage the bodybuilder went on last Christmas at Cromac Street in the city centre.

Talking to Sunday Life on the morning he appeared in court Smyth claimed he regretted his criminal past and was trying to go straight.

“I want to put all that behind me,” he said sheepishly.

Being banged up in Maghaberry Prison is something Smyth has experienced before — in March 2007 he was caged for four years for drug dealing.

Cops investigating the murder of Lisa Dorrian seized a boat the Bangor man owned that was moored on Strangford Lough.


Inside the vessel they discovered 1,200 ecstasy tablets, cannabis and half a kilo of speed.

Smyth was released from prison in 2009 under the 50 per cent remission rule, having completed just half of his drug-

dealing sentence. But within weeks of being freed he was back in trouble.

In February of that year police chased a car that braked hard to avoid a checkpoint at the junction of Belfast’s Malone Road and Stranmillis Road.

Cops found the vehicle parked in a cul-de-sac nearby with Smyth standing next to the bonnet.

When approached he denied being the driver and was aggressive towards officers.

He gave a fake name and told police he was looking for a house party, but was unable to say who was throwing the party or at what address.


After searching the area officers discovered the keys to the car 20-feet away.

It later emerged that Smyth’s house keys were attached to the car keys.

A breath test also revealed he was 11 points over the limit.Despite pleading not guilty, Smyth was convicted of drink-driving, having no insurance, no test certificate, no licence and obstructing police.

His solicitor said his client lied to police after panicking and had “dug a hole and kept digging”.

Smyth was banned from driving for five years, ordered to do 240 hours’ community service and fined £600.

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