NewsCrime Desk

Sicko rapist murderer cooks jailbird meal for butcher, strangler and psycho killer

Killers Christmas cracker (Left to Right) Phelim McNally, Virgilio Augusto Correia, Warder standing, Gerard O'Kane, another Warder and Billy Bunter Stevenson
Killers Christmas cracker (Left to Right) Phelim McNally, Virgilio Augusto Correia, Warder standing, Gerard O'Kane, another Warder and Billy Bunter Stevenson

A rag tag bag of Ulster’s most depraved killers and rapists enjoyed a jailhouse party - paid for by prison officers.

Our exclusive picture shows some of the country’s most dangerous and notorious criminals – some of whom are pictured here for the first time – chilling out together after enjoying a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

They include a jealous wife killer, an evil armed robber who killed for just £200 and a demented psycho who gunned down the sister of his ex-girlfriend.

We can reveal that the Christmas feast took place in the prison officers’ staff cafeteria – The Riverside Café inside Maghaberry on December 22 – when they were waited on hand and foot by warders.

And the meal was cooked by the most depraved of them all – Billy ‘Bunter’ Stevenson – a murderer who raped his elderly victim’s lifeless body and who, incredibly, is head chef at the Riverside Café.

The facility was officially opened by then Justice Minister David Forde alongside then NIPS Director General Sue McAllister and former Maghaberry governor Phil Wragg.

It’s been claimed prison officers working in the kitchen alongside the inmates put their hands in their pockets and paid for the private feast as a ‘reward’ for their hard work throughout the year feeding officers throughout the jail.

This has been denied by the Prison Service who say all prisoner meals are paid out of the prison budget.

The controversial party caused bad feeling amongst inmates and prison officers alike, according to jail sources, especially because it was held in the staff cafe.

The shocking picture – taken at HMP Maghaberry last Christmas – shows four of the most dangerous men in UK legal history pulling Christmas crackers together after their feast.

Two of the group have never had their faces revealed publicly before.

Virgilio Augusto Fernando Correia – who butchered defenceless restaurant owner Nelson Cheung in a frenzied attack – is seen here for the first time.

The cruel 37-year-old carried out the savage attack in January 2015 and has already been told he will serve a life sentence for the bloody murder as well as for wounding and robbing the 65-year-old’s wife.

Mr Cheung, who owned the Double Value restaurant on Randalstown’s Main Street, was travelling home to Ballymena with his wife when they were ambushed and run off the road just after midnight on January 8, 2015.

While Mr Cheung died from up to 18 multiple stab wounds he sustained in the attack, his 57-year-old wife was wounded and robbed.

It has been claimed Correia was the man who did the stabbing and did so because he was in debt.

The other infamous killer never pictured before, until now, is Gerard O’Kane.

O’Kane, who’s 57 now, callously stabbed and strangled his estranged wife Ann Marie at her north Belfast apartment in 2011.

He was driven into a jealous rage after the couple separated and he went to his wife’s home armed with a mallet and two knives which he used to bludgeon and stab her with.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a minimum of 14 years in prison.

As the father-of-two was led from the dock, her grieving family jeered at him, telling him to “rot in hell” and that he should have killed himself, not Annie.

The family said after the sentencing: “We cannot understand how someone, who was supposed to have loved her, could carry out such a vile act.”

Last night a jailhouse source told the Sunday World the meal had led to a number of complaints from other prisoners.

“There was outrage in the jail when people found out some of the worst scum in the jail were being treated to a Christmas feast in the staff canteen,” said one source.

“Murderers and sex offenders being treated like royalty compared to the rest of the inmates. It’s disgusting.”

Chubby-faced Gerard O’Kane is seen here grinning as he pulls a Christmas cracker with another demented killer, Billy Stevenson.

Cold-blooded Stevenson, known as ‘Bunter’ to his unsuspecting mates, battered defenceless 66-year-old neighbour Lily Smyth to death in 1988 in Finaghy.

But the sicko, who was exacting ‘revenge’ after quiet churchgoer Lily had dared to complain about his late night drinking parties, wasn’t finished with having already taken her life. He then  raped the pensioner’s lifeless body in a sickening act of depravity.

The cocky killer thought he had got away with his evil crime but he was finally jailed when the Serious Crime Review Team reopened the case files and found Stevenson’s DNA on a number of items including Lily’s underwear.

Stevenson was told in 2008 he must serve at least 25 years in jail before he can be considered for release from Maghaberry.

Also in the picture is cold-blooded killer Phelim McNally who was jailed in 2013 for life for murdering his ex-partner’s sister.

McNally, from Toomebridge, shot dead 18-year-old Lauren O’Neill in Bellaghy in May 2012 and attempted to murder her sister, and his ex, Brenda.

He flew into a jealous rage and shot Brenda O’Neill in the stomach and arm in full view of the couple’s two young children.


McNally admitted murder and attempted murder as his trial was about to begin and he was sentenced to serve at least 20 years before he can even be considered for release.

Mr Justice Treacy said when sentencing McNally : “It was an act of extraordinary wickedness in which he fired aimed shots from a shotgun intending to murder.”

Other long term criminals were present at the feast including a rapist and a serial housebreaker, though we can’t identify them for legal reasons.

But the meal was cooked by Billy Stevenson who has worked his way up to the position of head chef at the Riverside Café.

Since starting his sentence nine years ago though he has managed to worm his way into the trust of senior prison officers.

“He’s the head chef at the Riverside Café,” said the source. “The Prison Service use a lot of sex offenders in the main kitchen because they are generally the best behaved inmates in the jail.

“He’s what is regarded as a model prisoner which is hard to believe when you consider what he did to end up in here.

“These inmates help official staff as orderlies and this party was a way of the staff saying thank-you to them.”

However the party caused bad feeling throughout the jail - from both inmates and prison staff - because of how it was financed.

“The staff paid for it and then waited on them,” said a source. “There were loads of complaints made by other inmates.

“And 90 per cent of the staff at Maghaberry were furious that these scumbags were getting a free Christmas dinner while the governor had decided not to pay for the staff’s dinner.

“They had paid for it the year before but not last year and it only cost £3 per head. It’s not much but a lot of prison officers were furious because of the principle of it.

“The fact a squad of killers and rapists got a free one went down like a lead balloon.”

A Northern Ireland Prison Service spokesperson said: “It is incorrect to claim that prison officers paid for a meal for prisoners. All meals for prisoners are paid for from the prison budget.”

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