28/10/2009

Jail Recall For Loyalist Halloween Murderer

A loyalist killer released under the Good Friday Agreement has been returned to prison.

Torrens Knight had his licence suspended by the North's Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, yesterday, after being found guilty of assaulting two women in Coleraine.

Knight was one of eight men convicted of the 1993 UFF Greysteel massacre in which eight people were slaughtered when gunmen opened fire inside the busy Rising Sun bar in Co Londonderry where a Halloween party was taking place.

One of the paramilitaries shouted "trick or treat" before firing indiscriminate rounds at customers. Eight people were killed and 13 others were wounded in the shooting.

Knight was given 12 life sentences for his part in the attack, and the earlier murders of four workmen in Castlerock.

He served seven years of the jail term before being granted early release in July 2000.

Last week Knight was found guilty of beating two sisters and disorderly behaviour by Coleraine Magistrates Court.

Shaun Woodward said the convictions proved Knight presented "a risk to the safety of others" and that he had "breached the terms of his life licence".

"I cannot permit freedom to any individual intent on abusing the opportunity they have been given to benefit from the early release scheme," Mr Woodward said.

The decision whether to revoke Knight's licence now rests with the Sentence Review Commissioners.

In 2005, Stephen Irwin, another of the Greysteel murderers, was sent back to prison following a knife attack at a Irish Cup Final football match. His licence was later revoked.

(PR/BMcC)

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