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Former orange order district master stays in jail

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Sceala Irish Craic Forum Discussion:     Former orange order district master stays in jail

In 2001 an innocent man Trevor Lowry aged 49 was beaten to death in an alley in Glengormly on the outskirts of NW Belfast. His attackers murdered him because they thought he was an Irish Roman Catholic.
Harry Speers, 47, a former Orange Order district master and Ronald Craig, 22 both of Newtownabbey, were convicted of Mr Lowry's murder in 2004. The judge described Speers as a dominant figure who encouraged younger people and then lied to exclude himself. Craig, who was only 16 at the time of the murder, also lost his appeal.
Mr Lowry was not a Roman Catholic, but police said at the time that his attackers believed he was and had been lured into the alley in Harmin Drive where he was attacked.
Appeal court Judge Sir Michael Nicholson said that Speers was clearly someone who was not merely a callous bystander but was a participant or encourager. Speers did not give evidence at his trial, the judge commented "The only sensible explanation was that he had no answer to the case against him, or one that could stand up to cross-examination."
Speers had been ordered to serve at least 15 years in jail and Craig 11 years. Their appeals against the sentences will be heard later.

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