Adrian Ismay a ‘decent and generous’ individual who engaged with all
Adrian Ismay was a decent and generous human being who enthusiastically engaged with all parts of the community in Northern Ireland, a judge has said.
At the time of his death in 2016, the 52-year-old was a senior officer at the training branch of the Prison Service, nurturing and helping young people.
The loving family man, from east Belfast, was also heavily involved in the community rescue service and St John Ambulance, where he once volunteered alongside his killer.
On Friday, Mr Justice Gerry McAlinden sentenced an expressionless Christopher Robinson, 50, to a minimum of 22 years’ imprisonment for the public servant’s murder.
He said of Mr Ismay: “He was a decent, warm, generous, loving human being, and our society is the poorer for his loss.
“If only there were more like him.
“His legacy is his example of instantaneous and enthusiastic community engagement, reaching out to and engaging with all, irrespective of background.”
Despite his family commitments, Mr Ismay “enthusiastically engaged” with the wider community.
The judge said: “He gave so much of himself to others.”
After an explosive device was detonated under his vehicle, shards of shrapnel entered the driver’s compartment and he suffered serious leg injuries which required surgery.
He later died due to a serious medical complication linked to the attack.
Mr Justice McAlinden said the “callous” defendant intended to kill him.
He read witness statements from Mr Ismay’s widow, Sharon, and two of his daughters before sentencing Robinson at Belfast Crown Court.
He said: “These three statements are heart-wrenching in how they managed with dignified (reserve) to convey just how deeply they loved Mr Ismay and how intensely he loved and in fact adored them.
“Each of these statements, in their own individual and eloquent way, brings home to me the utterly devastating impact that Mr Ismay’s death has had, not only on them but on other members of the family.”
The killer has displayed not a scintilla of remorse, the judge said.
He added: “Only the coldest of hearts of stone would not be affected reading them and anyone of normal sensitivity could not but readily perceive how each of the authors of these statements and those referred to therein have been utterly devastated by this matter and their lives altered irretrievably.
“These statements, with quiet dignity, bring home to me the damage Mr Ismay’s death has caused to their lives.”