Two killers, including a sadistic killer who laughed while stepping on his victim’s head, are on the run after being released from prison under a pre-release program.
PSNI has launched a manhunt for Stephen McParland, who was jailed for the consecutive £20 murder of Gary Alexander McKimm and is believed to be in the company of knife killer Alison McDonagh.
The couple were last seen at Lanyon Place train station in Belfast around 1.45pm on Saturday.
The body of McParland’s victim was discovered in a pool of blood in an alleyway off Cregagh Road, Belfast in January 1997.
He was sentenced to life in prison a year later after a jury found him guilty of the murder of his friend.
A court was told he laughed and yelled “Die, die, die, you b*****d” during the attack.
Former Lord Chief Justice Brian Kerr ruled in 2008 that McParland should serve at least 16 years in prison for “protracted and merciless” caning.
Although the prisoner behind bars turned out to be a fine journalism student, Mr Kerr said: “We could find no evidence of genuine remorse on his part or any real acknowledgment of the enormity of his crime.”
McParland is described as 5ft 8in tall, with dirty blond hair, blue eyes and tattoos of a rose and a Rangers FC badge on his upper left arm, along with two skulls, a dagger and Sonic the Hedgehog on his right forearm and a scar on the right side of his chin.
The 54-year-old has been unlawfully free from Maghaberry prison since Saturday after being released under a pre-release testing programme.
With him is said to be convicted murderer Alison Michelle McDonagh, who has fled release programs in the past.
The 49-year-old, who murdered George McDowell in 2004, did not return to Hydebank Wood women’s prison in south Belfast on Saturday.
The tattooed runaway, who is described as green-eyed, slim and dark-skinned, was released from a pre-release program despite going missing three times before.
She reportedly told guards that she was once abducted by aliens.
McDonagh was last returned to prison in August 2021 after escaping in Belfast city centre.
She has been imprisoned for 17 years. She was sentenced to at least 12 years in prison after being convicted of murder in 2006 after a three-week trial.
A court was told Alison Michelle Martin, as her name was then, had only met her victim a week before stabbing him in the neck with a kitchen knife.
Regardless, authorities are still trying to locate James Meehan, whose name was added to the growing list of prisoners on the run last October.
The Justice Department has previously been criticized for failing to alert the public that the 42-year-old, who murdered a father of four in Derry in 2007, had fled.
Meehan has been jailed in Co Donegal for his role in a brutal attack on Jim McFadden, 42, after wedding celebrations.
During the 2009 trial, he bailed and left his wife and son facing life sentences without him.
Brenda and Sean Devenney’s murder convictions were reduced to manslaughter on appeal. All three were guests at the wedding of the murdered man’s sister-in-law.
The victim was repeatedly hit in the chest so hard that he died of a broken heart.
According to the Justice Department’s website, Meehan went missing on Oct. 9 after being released on home leave as his sentence came to an end.
He had been an inmate at Burren House on Crumlin Road in north Belfast and enjoyed more freedom, with unlocked cells and weekends away from prison.
Prison officials sounded the alarm after going to an agreed address in Derry for a routine breathalyzer, only to find Meehan had left the jurisdiction and crossed the border into the Republic.
It was five days before the prison service publicly admitted that one of his dangerous killers was at large.
The Belfast Telegraph revealed earlier this week that Northern Ireland authorities had approved more than 700 temporary releases for convicted murderers over the past four years.
Since the beginning of 2019, nearly 95 percent of requests have been granted for reasons such as home visits and time off to help inmates nearing the end of their sentences adjust to normal life.
Of the 751 applications, more than half (385) were approved without supervision.
A further 325 were approved on condition that the person is accompanied by an appropriate companion.
The number would likely have been higher were it not for the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to a significant drop in temporary layoffs.
Only 41 applications from domestic partners were denied.
The Department of Justice has been asked for comment.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/laughing-murderer-and-knife-killer-on-the-run-after-fleeing-pre-release-scheme-42311683.html Laughing murderer and knife killer on the run after escape from pre-release