12 February 1998 Edition

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McBride's killers set for Army return

By Ned Kelly

Reports that the two Scots Guards who murdered Peter McBride in Belfast in 1992 would be welcomed back into the British army have shocked his relatives. Major David Walter of the Scots Guard Association is quoted as saying, ``the regiment would be pleased to welcome them back. They are still serving soldiers.'' This also raises the question of whether the two, James Fisher and Mark Wright, are getting wages and receiving pensions despite serving sentences for murder.

Billy McBride, Peter's uncle, said that early release may also be an issue. ``The precedent was set with Lee Clegg and Ian Thain who were both admitted back. This special treatment is getting out of hand.'' He also said it was sending out the dangerous message that it was acceptable to ``shoot a Catholic in the back and get out of jail early.''Mr McBride has said that the family is considering ``a personal suit'' against the two soldiers.

News of a planned demonstration in Perth, Scotland on 28 February in support of the killers has also angered the McBride family. Billy McBride said that while there had ``never been an admission of guilt or regret from the army or government'' it was ``disgraceful'' that the British Army was mobilising support for the soldiers.

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