He faced his fate with a mocking grin

He faced his fate with a mocking grin
5 August 2006
Belfast Telegraph
Deborah McAleese

Handcuffed and flanked by two prison officers a grinning Trevor Hamilton was unceremoniously led into the packed court room. Dressed casually in a T-shirt and jeans, and with his hair neatly shaven, in any other circumstances the killer-rapist could have passed for a normal, respectable young man. As he strode confidently into the dock the 24-year-old farm labourer appeared completely unperturbed by the fact he was due to be sentenced for a brutal murder which shocked the whole of Northern Ireland.

However, his heavy breathing, slightly flushed cheeks and obvious restlessness suggested that one of Northern Ireland's most dangerous men was actually nervous. Maybe he was concerned by the possibility of never being free again, or perhaps he did not like the fact that all eyes in the courtroom were watching his every move.

When the judge entered the Dungannon court room yesterday morning Hamilton watched him closely, barely showing any emotion. Only when Mr Justice McLaughlin began outlining the facts of the horrifying case and paying a warm tribute to Mrs Harron did Hamilton begin to look slightly uncomfortable, often casting his eyes to the ground or shaking his head.

Mrs Harron's family and friends sat just feet behind Hamilton in the public gallery. Noticeably nobody from his family was in court, even though his parents had for a long time refused to accept his guilt.

As the judge imposed the highest sentence ever in Northern Ireland legal history, the man who abducted the 65 year-old mother, beat her to death and then buried her naked body, once again began to grin. He then nodded at his legal representative before being hurriedly escorted from court by prison officers. His grin never faltered.

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