Twitter | @Siobhán Fenton

Yesterday Bernadette Smyth was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and a £2000 fine. Ms Smyth, a prominent anti-abortion campaigner, was convicted last month of harassing a director of Northern Ireland’s first abortion clinic, former PUP MLA Dawn Purvis, after a prolonged period of lurking around the healthcare centre with a handful of supporters and .

It’s not her first brush with controversy. Earlier in the year Ms Smyth as saying that pregnant women who are suicidal should be institutionalised until the baby is born. Even though Ms “Bernie” Smyth, of the anti-choice group Precious Life, has an endless amount of time to spend annoying strangers, who would have thought that her sentencing would be overshadowed by her outfit. Yes, the Belfast Telegraph of her conviction was suitably strange. In choosing to spend much of the article on appearance and accessories, it reads like a potent mixture of court reporting and Grazia.

Unless Bernadette Smyth was literally in court on a murder charge, it’s not really relevant if she was “dressed to kill”. Hypothetically, if she was, at least you could then use that term as a cool pun. Same goes for ‘killer heels’. I don’t even know what that means. Are we supposed to imagine Ms Smyth on a murderous rampage or humping some poor fella in the M-Club on a Thursday night?

Here we have listed eight things in the Bel Tel coverage that no-one should really give a fuck about:

  1. Killer heels
  2. Beige pencil skirts
  3. Snug-fitting black blouse
  4. Studded belt
  5. Black patent stilettos
  6. Leopard-print handbag
  7. Perfectly made-up face
  8. Manicured hands

“Striding steadily into the courtroom in her six-inch heels, Bernie Smyth was, as usual, dressed to kill. Power-dressed in a beige pencil skirt, snug-fitting black blouse and studded belt, with black patent stilettos and leopard-print handbag fashionably hooked in the crook of her arm, the pro-life campaigner joined supporters in the public gallery.”

We can’t wait until Piers Morgan finally gets that phone hacking conviction. If only to see what they write about his colour of tie, if he prefers boxers or briefs and what he considers his ideal Friday night in. 

There was a news report published alongside this which can be found .

Jason Murdock | |