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Prison best place for publicity-seeker Stone says victim's brother

Loyalist killer Michael stone is just "a publicity seeker" who deserves to remain in prison, a brother of one of his victims has said.

Roddy Hackett, who once sat across a table from stone, said the multiple murderer's attention seeking used to hurt his family but they now viewed him as nothing but "an embarrassment".

Mr Hackett's brother Dermot Hackett (37) was murdered in May 1987, shot 15 times as he drove his bread van along the road from omagh to Drum-quin in Co tyrone. after his arrest in 1988 for three murders at Milltown Cemetery, stone confessed to Mr Hackett's murder and those of council worker Kevin McPolin (26) and milkman Patrick Brady (36), shot dead in sectarian attacks. yesterday lord Chief Justice Declan Morgan said stone should serve the remainder of the 30-year jail term for the six killings alongside his sentence for the botched attack on the stormont assembly in November 2006.

He will serve at least another five years in jail.

Mr Hackett met stone during the filming of a BBC documentary Face the Truth, which aired in March 2006 eight months before the attack at stormont. the programme involved victims and perpetrators coming face to face in the presence of south african archbishop Desmond tutu.

"i tried to reason with the man, to find out the truth about my brother's murder, but i felt he was playing mind games," Mr Hackett said last night.

"in my opinion he simply craves the limelight. He wants notoriety in whatever form he can get it.

"He wanted songs written about him and murals on walls and sure in the end what is he?

"He doesn't seem to be able to exist outside of prison so that's the best place for him.

"i don't give him much thought these days. He is better locked up, for his own safety as much as anyone's. the man is an embarrassment."

 

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