Killer steps down | 

Orangeman who killed his wife resigns from top post after public pressure

The 77-year-old was jailed for shooting his spouse Corien Fulton in the head in 1999 after she threatened to leave him

Stephen Fulton (77)

Niamh CampbellBelfast Telegraph

An Orangeman who was promoted to a senior role in Co Tyrone more than two decades after killing his wife has resigned.

A statement from the Orange Order on Wednesday morning confirms that the Cookstown district LOL No3 accepted the “resignation of the Worshipful District Master Stephen Fulton”.

“The District and former District Master would take this opportunity to apologise for any distress or upset caused by his installation to this post,” continues the statement.

“Cookstown District LOL No. 3 now considers this matter to be closed and will not be making any further comment in relation to it.

“It is anticipated that a new District Master will be elected in the coming weeks.”

Stephen Fulton poses for photo in his sash

The 77-year-old was jailed for shooting his spouse Corien Fulton in the head in 1999 after she threatened to leave him.

The former Royal Irish Rangers part-timer was sentenced to five years for manslaughter after Omagh Crown Court accepted “his actions had been substantially impaired by a classifiable mental disorder”.

He moved back to Cookstown and rejoined the Orange Order upon his release.

At the weekend Fulton insisted he had paid for his crime.

“It happened over 20 years ago and I’ve did my time,” he said.

“Someone from within the Orange Order has been on to you and betrayed me. I don’t know what else to say.”

Fellow Orangeman Trevor Carson defended his friend, who “has paid his debt to society”. He described him as “a good man”.

Fulton’s wife was 20 years his junior.

He shot her at the home they shared at Old Rectory Heights in Cookstown in June 1999 after she revealed she was leaving him for another man.

The trial judge described her removal of her wedding ring in the bedroom where she was shot as “the final straw which precipitated” the shooting.

“You have killed a comparatively young woman and for that the public interest requires that you be punished notwithstanding the medical report before me and the provocation under which you acted,” Mr Justice Gillen added.

The verdict and sentence was criticised at the time by Women’s Coalition leader Monica McWilliams.

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