Parole commissioners were today ordered to disclose why loyalist killer Michael Stone was released from prison.
Lawyers acting for the sister of one of the three men killed by Stone during by a gun and grenade attack at Milltown Cemetery in 1988 had launched a legal challenge on the decision to release him on parole.
Hugh Southey QC, representing Stone, had told the court that there were “material reasons to be concerned” about his client’s safety.
The judge, however, ordered that the parole commissioners provide the applicant, Deborah McGuinness, with a summary of reasons, with appropriate redactions, which mush remain confidential.
“I direct that having heard the position of the respective parties by consent the parole commissioners will provide the applicant with a summary of the reasons for the decision, with appropriate redactions, and that’s upon an undertaking by the applicant that the disclosure will remain confidential pending any further order of the court,” the judge said.
Mrs McGuinesses’s brother Thomas McErlean (20), a Catholic from west Belfast, died alongside another civilian John Murray (26), and IRA member Kevin Brady (30) in the attack.
Ronan Lavery QC, acting for Mrs McGuinness, said his client was happy to undertake confidentiality in this matter.
Mrs McGuinness is expected to receive a copy of the reasons before the middle of February.
Earlier this week, she said she feared the notorious loyalist killer would come after her family.
“He’s a serial killer,” she said.
“Nobody knew what he was capable of the last time so who is to say he wouldn’t come to my door?”
The court heard that there were similarities between this application to the case of English serial rapist John Worboyes, the taxi driver who perpetrated over 100 assaults and rapes on women.
The decision to release Worboyes on parole was later overturned by the High Court following a legal challenge by two of the 60-year-old’s victims.
The case is due to be reviewed on February 12.