Belfast Telegraph

Superglue killer Adrian Hayes stalked and threatened woman before he went on to murder

Woman harassed by sicko but who lived to tell the tale says evil Hayes could strike again when he's free.

By Ali Gordon

A woman has revealed how notorious superglue killer Adrian Hayes preyed on her before he callously murdered Julie Tennant.

Brave Laura Thomson has broken her silence about her terrifying ordeal at the hands of Hayes who is due for full release after serving a 17-year minimum sentence for Julie’s murder in 2000.

“Adrian Hayes is a monster and in my view should never be released from prison,” said Laura.

“Lock him up and throw away the key.”

Laura feels she had a lucky escape from the man who stalked her prior to killing Julie — but the Cullybackey woman remains haunted by the experience.

“To those who are ‘for’ his release, can you guarantee he won’t kill again? I doubt it,” she told Sunday Life.

Powerfully built Hayes lured recovering drug addict Julie back to his Ballymena home after a night out and punched her repeatedly in the face for 20 minutes, shattering her bones.

As she lay moaning in agony, Hayes turned up his TV and stereo to drown out his victim’s cries, which he said started “to do my head in”. He then used superglue to seal her lips. After poor Julie suffocated, he hid her body in his garden shed before bundling her up in sheets and burying her two days later in a shallow grave and then spent the weekend with his estranged wife in south Down.

Cowardly Hayes then fled to an uncle’s home in England.

“A phone call from my brother gave me the news that Adrian had been arrested for the murder of a young girl who’d been found in a shallow grave in Broughshane,” said Laura, who now lives in Australia.

“My heart stopped at the news and the terrifying reality sank in that I in fact had got away, unfortunately Julie didn’t.”

A few months before married Hayes murdered Julie, he started stalking Laura, who he met while she was working as a waitress in a popular bar in Broughshane.

She knocked him back after a series of advances, and he did not take kindly to her polite rejection.

“I still remember his eyes — he never seemed to blink as he watched me work,” said Laura, whose father employed Adrian Hayes’ dad as a handyman for their family business.

“After a short time, I was advised by work colleagues that he never frequented the bar except during my work shifts. His stalking had begun.”

She added: “Adrian continued to stalk me at work, watching my every move, smiling, trying to flirt or make eye contact with me and sending me flowers with a note asking if I’d like to go out on a date with him.

“My own instincts told me there was something about him that wasn’t good — those staring eyes made me feel uneasy.”

At the time, Hayes had a string of previous convictions including theft, burglary, assault and possession of an offensive weapon.

“Work colleagues filled me in on Adrian’s reputation as big trouble and advised me to stay away,” said Laura.

“I politely thanked him for the flowers and declined his offer.”

But Hayes wouldn’t take no for an answer, as was the case with Julie. It emerged in court that he “saw red” when Julie spurned him and tried to leave his house.

“He was undeterred by my refusal and continued to turn up while I was working,” said Laura.

“Sometimes his smile almost seemed like a sneer. I did my best to avoid him as by now he was becoming creepy and made me feel uneasy in his presence.”

Despite her best efforts, Laura couldn’t avoid Hayes and “unfortunately” she saw him again at a party she was at with friends and they accepted an offer of a lift.

She said: “We returned to his parents’ home as he assured us his mother often made money on the side by providing a taxi service.

“Immediately on entering the house Adrian started swearing to his mother to get out of bed and he removed his shirt.

“My friends and I looked at each other, signalling to each other to leave as this behaviour made us all feel very uncomfortable and we quickly darted out the back door when Adrian went upstairs.”

But hours later Hayes came back for Laura., turning up on her foorstep at 8am

“I suggested taking him back home as he said he had no money and I really wanted to get rid of him as fast as possible. As he sat in my passenger seat he appeared agitated and I felt very frightened.”

Laura instantly regretted her decision to offer him a lift.

“After driving about 200 metres, he pulled on the handbrake suddenly and I quickly seized the opportunity and jumped out of my car and fled to the safety of my neighbour’s home.

“Adrian screamed abuse from the outside of the house and then proceeded back down the road to my bungalow screaming he was going to cut my new born foal’s throat who was grazing with its mother in my paddock.”

Laura’s ordeal wasn’t over when she returned home.

Clearly still shaken up, she explained: “The following few hours showed Adrian to be a very dangerous man — and a psycho.

“A death threat was written on my back door in his own blood, saying ‘I WILL KILL YOU’.

“He also continued to yell disgusting language and abuse to the many police who attended to apprehend him. Adrian was out of control and threatening to kill.”

Hayes was removed from the property by police, who advised Laura to move from her home. For weeks after, police escorted Laura daily to her premises to feed and care for her animals. Despite assurances from her boss that Hayes had been barred from her workplace, she also quit her job as a waitress out of fear.

Given her family’s connections to Hayes’ family, and their fear of repercussions from him if she pressed charges, the matter never went to court. “For many months afterwards I felt uneasy in my home and always continued to look over my shoulder,” said Laura.

But her world came crashing down when Hayes was charged with Julie’s murder, and Laura struggled to cope with her memories of what had happened earlier that year. In Julie’s honour, Laura hopes that by speaking out she can protect further victims of this violent thug.

“My thoughts are with Julie’s family and I can only imagine the pain and heartbreak they continue to go through on a daily basis.”

Hayes claims to have found God in prison, and while in jail he became engaged to north Down woman Adele Best, who belonged to a Christian prisons mission group. They had planned a lavish wedding at Crom Castle in Co Fermanagh.

She failed in a High Court bid to prevent this newspaper reporting on their relationship and said she had ended the engagement.

Laura said: “To anyone considering being in a relationship with this monster, you must surely be as crazy as he is. Stay clear for your own safety.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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