Serial killer returned to jail

An infamous loyalist killer is back behind bars after attacking two sisters in a pub in Coleraine, County Derry.

Torrens Knight received 12 life sentences for his part in two separate gun attacks in 1993 which killed four people in Castlerock, County Tyrone and eight people in Greysteel, County Derry

He was released on licence in 2000 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

British Direct Ruler Shaun Woodward suspended his early-release licence this week after he was convicted of the Coleraine attack in May 2008.

Mr Woodward said Knight had abused the early-release scheme.

“His convictions last Thursday demonstrate that he has breached the terms of his life licence and that he presents a risk to the safety of others,” he said.

He will now serve the remainder of the 12 life sentences.

The Halloween killings in Greysteel, which sent a wave of revulsion through Ireland, became known internationally after it was revealed that one of the gunmen shouted “Trick or Treat” before opening fire.

Another member of the gang took time to reload another magazine into a machine gun before opening fire a second time.

Knight, who was the gang’s getaway driver, stood at the door while the gunmen mowed down the crowd of revelers.

In 2005, another of the Greysteel killers, Stephen Irwin, also released on early licence, was returned to prison after being convicted of slashing a football supporter with a knife during a soccer cup final.


Meanwhile, a prominent loyalist appeared in court this week charged with raping a 13-year-old schoolgirl and having indecent images of a child.

Mark Harbinson, a high-profile Orange Order member and convicted loyalist, was also charged with two counts of having indecent photographs of a child between August 9 and October 23.

The court was told he had met the schoolgirl through his role as a senior member of a loyalist flute band that regularly met in Stoneyford Orange Hall to practice.

Ten years ago, a loyalist intelligence cache of British Army documents profiling around 300 republicans and nationalists was found at the hall.

Harbinson has also been linked to a sectarian campaign of intimidation and violence against Catholic families living within his County Antrim village.

Harbinson was refused bail. He will reappear in court via video link on November 24.

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