THE FAMILY of Ian Ogle has vowed not to be broken by a sinister intimidation campaign as they prepare to mark the second anniversary of his murder.
Grieving partner Vera Johnston and mum Margaret Ogle will spend Wednesday laying flowers at his grave and the spot where he was butchered by drugged-up East Belfast UVF members.
The family has endured two years of heartbreak, an agony that has been compounded by recent graffiti targeting Ian's daughter Toni and a 17-year-old relative.
But like the message on the mural opposite their Cluan Place home, which was the scene of the knife killing, they remain 'unbowed and unbroken'.
Wiping away tears pensioner Margaret said: "The past two years have got worse instead of better. I feel more angry because of the abuse that the family has been forced to endure. Can they not just leave us alone? Can they not let use grieve for Ian?
"But the UVF won't break us. There are too many of us. I don't like fighting, but I know I can stand up and take any of them on." Ian's lifelong partner Vera, the mother of his two children Toni and Ryan Johnston, believes the graffiti highlights the insecurity at the heart of the East Belfast UVF.
She said: "Once again it's kids and women being targeted, every bit of graffiti that has gone up about us has been about children and women. That shows the mindset of these people."
Margaret added: "They are trying to get a rise out of us, they want a reaction ahead of the trial, but they aren't getting it, we can see what they are at."
Ian Ogle (right) was beaten and stabbed by a UVF gang outside his Cluan Place home on January 27, 2019, having been subjected to an 18-month intimidation campaign. Its leaders were furious that he had refused to attend a pre-arranged punishment attack and had faced down its threats.
In the hours before his killing Ian and his son Ryan had been involved in a clash with a relative, Neil Ogle, on the Beersbridge Road.
It was after learning of this that the UVF decided they needed to be taught a lesson and sent a gang armed with knives and baseball bats onto the streets to find them. They cornered Ian outside his home as he prayed with local pastor Kevin Sambrook and attacked him mercilessly.
The 45-year-old was stabbed 11 times in the back after being beaten to the ground, also suffering a fractured skull.
He died as his killers fled in a car along Templemore Avenue from where they hid in safe houses after disposing of the murder weapons.
Five loyalists have been charged with Ian's murder. They are Walter Alan 'Bo' Ervine (39), Robert Spiers (37), Jonny Brown (34), Mark Sewell (41) and Glenn Rainey (34).
Three others, Jill Morrison (38), Thomas McCartney (33), and Christopher Haire (51), are accused of assisting offenders, while Reece Kirkwood (23) and Neil Ogle (42) face charges of withholding information.
The 10 are not expected to go on trial until the autumn at the earliest. The Ogle family is in no doubt that they will continue to be subjected to veiled threats until then, and perhaps after.
For Vera and Margaret justice delayed is justice denied, especially in the case of Ian's dad Harry who is battling cancer.
"Ian's dad has cancer and he is petrified that he isn't going to see justice for his son," said Margaret Ogle.
"But he says that you know you have hit a nerve when they are writing stuff about you on the wall. It's proving that they are scared and they are looking over shoulders every time they go out.
"Our family is different, we can walk the streets with our heads held high - that's something Ian's killers will never be able to do."
The recent graffiti attacking the Ogles was covered up within 24 hours by Belfast City Council and came in response to slogans being painted on walls in support of the family.
The murder victim's partner Vera Johnston explained how some people within east Belfast who originally offered support have been intimidated into staying silent.
"People go where they think the power is, this is what we have really realised," she said.
"I know that they feel bad, but they are going where they think they will be alright. But what they don't realise is that what happened to Ian could come to their doors in a heartbeat.
"This is when their tunes will change, when the tables turn. This could come to anyone's door. They need to remember that."
In times of turmoil Margaret Ogle thinks of her son Ian and takes strength from her resolute belief that he is watching over his family.
She said: "Ian gives me strength. I believe there is a God on this earth and I'm going to see Ian again and he is watching down giving us all strength.
"If anything all this intimidation does is make us more determined to get justice. I would say to the big brave people running about at night writing on the walls about my family, if you have anything to say come to our doors and say it to our faces."