By AMANDA GEARING
September 24, 2001
A Jehovah’s Witness minister convicted of killing his pregnant wife in 1997 has fallen in love while on prison work release and remarried in Brisbane on Saturday.
Ian Reilly was convicted of the manslaughter of his wife Sylvia but has protested his innocence.
Reilly’s family and Sylvia’s family have claimed he was framed and wrongly convicted of the killing after Sylvia’s body was found in Lake Perseverance near Toowoomba on September 21, 1997.
Police have ruled out any link between Sylvia’s death and the stabbing murder of Leanne Kennedy by confessed Satanist Darren Maloney, who knew both women. Ms. Kennedy’s body was found on the day of Sylvia’s funeral.
Maloney, jailed for life in February last year, pleaded not guilty to the murder on the basis of “unsoundness of mind,” claiming he was deluded into thinking he was Satan when he stabbed Ms. Kennedy.
A prison inmate with Maloney claimed in May that Maloney had confessed to also killing Sylvia Reilly.
In June 1998, Ian Reilly was sentenced to six years in jail for Sylvia’s death.
While on work release in Brisbane last year, Reilly met a woman at a Jehovah’s Witness congregation and the two fell in love. His bride, Angela Baldwin, believes Reilly is innocent of his wife’s death and has vowed to help him recover from the loss of his wife and baby.
“I know he is innocent. There’s no doubt in my mind at all,” Ms. Baldwin said.
“This has all been a nightmare for him because he loved Sylvia so much.
“Right from the beginning, Ian told me about his conviction. If he were guilty I would have had nothing to do with him. I believe him and I love him. I have never met a person who said a negative word about Ian.
“I never met Sylvia but after looking through her things I feel like I’ve lost my best friend. She was a beautiful lady. I can understand why Ian loved her,” she said.
“Ian had to push his emotions aside when he was in jail because you have to put on a tough image to survive. His wife is gone. His baby is gone.”
Reilly’s mother, Val Reilly, said her son had not yet been able to bury Sylvia’s ashes, which are at a Toowoomba crematorium because he could not face the pain.
Mrs. Reilly said she hoped the jail confession of Maloney would lead to an inquiry into Sylvia’s death and clear her son’s name after police reviews of the case failed to spark an inquiry.
Ms. Baldwin said that although the couple wanted Ian’s named cleared by the courts, they could not afford the legal costs.
She said she had been welcomed into the family by Mrs. Reilly and also by Sylvia’s mother June Bavington.
“June welcomed me with open arms. She hugged me and said Ian was the son they never had. She asked us to continue visiting them,” she said.
[Original story link: http://news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,2918914%255E421,00.html]