Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Wednesday, 1 April 2009 16:56 UK

Double killer fails in impact bid

David McIlwaine and Andrew Robb were killed in February 2000
David McIlwaine and Andrew Robb were killed in February 2000

Lawyers for a man convicted of killing two teenagers have failed in a bid to have a victim impact statement edited.

Steven Brown's barrister applied for extracts to be removed ahead of his sentencing on Friday for the murder of Andrew Robb and David McIlwaine.

In the statement David's father, Paul, described Brown as "void of human emotion, a sociopath".

Lord Justice Girvan said the statements helped the bereaved express their hurt, without influencing sentencing.

Defence had stressed there was no suggestion the trial judge, Mr Justice Gillen, would be prejudiced, but said the interests of justice could be "threatened in future" if it was allowed in unchecked.

Brown, 28, also known as Steven Revels, of Castle Place, Castlecaulfied, was found guilty last month of stabbing to death Andrew Robb, 19, and 18-year-old David McIlwaine.

The victims' bodies were dumped near Tandragee in February 2000.

In his statement, Paul McIlwaine also called for the maximum possible penalty.

The application went before Lord Justice Girvan, who acted as a satellite judge in the case dealing with disclosure issues.

Dismissing the application, he also emphasised Mr Justice Gillen's experience as a trial judge.

"I'm quite satisfied he is perfectly capable of reaching the correct conclusions in relation to the admissibility of this victim impact (statement)," he said.

He said that the defence have a safeguard after sentence was imposed "as they have the right to seek leave to appeal".

Outside the High Court, where the application was heard, Mr McIlwaine expressed relief at the judge's remarks.

"I thought the whole point of a victim impact statement was to put your feelings down," he said.

"It's up to the judge to decide whether it's right or wrong."

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