Murderers of LVF chief jailed for life

 

Three convicted INLA killers smiled as they were jailed for life yesterday for the murder of LVF chief Billy Wright in the Maze prison last December.

The prosecution case against them was "overwhelming", Crown Court judge Mr Justice Kerr told Christopher McWilliam, John Kennaway and John Glennon. "The unchallenged evidence presented by the Crown constituted a formidable, overwhelming and unanswerable case against each of the three accused, that they, acting in consort or in support of each other, took part in the well-planned and murderous attack on William Wright when he and they were inmates at HMP Maze," he said.

The three shot Wright as he sat in a prison van about to take him to the visiting area of the Maze prison on the outskirts of Belfast. He was shot at least three but possibly seven times as he tried to ward off his attackers.

Before the shooting McWilliams (35), Kennaway (35) and Glennon (32) cut their way through a prison fence and then climbed up a wall, over a roof and down into the compound where Wright was waiting to be taken on his visit.

Although initially McWilliams told prison staff the LVF chief was murdered because he had been put in the same H Block as the INLA inmates, he later told police: "Billy Wright was executed for one reason and one reason only, and that was for directing his campaign of terror against the nationalist people from his prison cell".

During their trial the three men did not challenge any evidence, including that of one witness who claimed McWilliams laughed after the shooting. It had been expected Mr Justice Kerr would reserve judgment, but after being told by the men's lawyers they were calling no evidence, he passed sentence.

He said the law permitted only one sentence, life, and he would impose it. He also gave the three concurrent sentences of 2O years each for possession of the guns used in the killing.