A former paramilitary who was jailed for murder spoke to schoolchildren about turning his life around.

Billy McCurrie, a former Northern Irish paramilitary member who is now a pastor, spoke to GCSE students from Argoed High School in Mynydd Isa about his life.

The event formed part of the Christian Controversies conference, which was held in Chester Cathedral last week.

Since leaving prison, McCurrie has become a pastor and travels the country talking about his experiences and preaching peace.

Sarah Hanson, head of religious education at the school, said pupils found the event extremely thought provoking, and said students experienced something that they may never have the opportunity to in life.

Pupils also attended seminar sessions aimed at A level pupils regarding Christianity and sexuality, abortion and science and were thoroughly intrigued by the traditional and changing attitudes towards modern ethics and morals.

Mrs Hanson added: “I hope these pupils were able to experiences views that were vastly different from their own, because that is what RE is all about – learning about others, the good, the bad, and the controversial.”