UFF ‘trick or treat’ killer Knight to stay behind bars
Published 06/03/2010 | 06:10
Convicted loyalist killer Torrens Knight has lost his legal challenge to the decision to suspend his early release licence.
Knight, who received 12 life sentences for his part in the UFF’s Greysteel massacre and the separate killing of four workmen, was seeking to judicially review the move by Secretary of State Shaun Woodward.
His prison release was suspended after he was found guilty of attacking two women in a bar in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, in May 2008.
But a High Court judge refused leave to seek a judicial review after rejecting all grounds on which the application was based.
Mr Justice Treacy said: “If the Secretary of State had not suspended the applicant's licence in the teeth of a conviction for very serious offences of violence it would almost certainly have attracted public opprobrium and undermined public confidence.”
Knight was sentenced to four months imprisonment last December for assault and disorderly behaviour.
Although granted bail pending his appeal, he was kept in jail due to the suspension of his licence.
Mr Woodward ordered his recall to prison due to the new conviction and a determination that he posed a risk to the safety of others.
Knight was found guilty of involvement in an attack on the Rising Sun bar in Greysteel, Derry at Halloween 1993. Eight people were shot dead when loyalists opened fire inside the pub.
He was also convicted of the murders of four Catholic builders in Castlerock earlier the same year. The killer was released on licence in July 2000 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
Knight's lawyers argued the suspension breached his right to liberty and should not have been taken until after an appeal against the assault convictions is heard.
It was stressed that the Sentence Review Commissioners have still to determine whether to revoke the licence.