Man cycled through town indiscriminately stabbing women after getting up to date

Dermott McIlveen accidentally stabbed six women in Belfast to death as he cycled past them after a date that left him feeling humiliated in what a judge described as a “violent killing spree”.

Dermott McIlveen stabbed six women in one "violent killing spree"
Dermott McIlveen stabbed six women to death in ‘violent killing spree’

A man who committed a “violent killing spree” who cycled through Belfast and indiscriminately stabbed women to death after being dropped off a date has been jailed.

Dermott McIlveen attacked six women in two hours in October 2020 because he felt humiliated and that women were to blame for the problems he was having in his life, he reported BelfastLive.

The accused appeared via video link from Maghaberry Prison at Belfast Crown Court, where it was revealed he had been arrested after family members who saw a police appeal about the attacks were contacted.

McIlveen, 40, admitted to a total of seven felonies committed on October 12, 2020. The charges include wounding, attempted wounding, and possession of a knife with intent to commit wounding.

When he handed down a nine-year sentence followed by a three-year extension, Judge Patrick Kinney QC spoke about the impact the attacks had on all six victims.

McIlveen felt humiliated after getting up on a date


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He said: “There is a need to protect women from violence by men like the accused.”

McIlveen, who was diagnosed with autism as a child, rode a balance bike for two hours through the streets of Belfast city center and attacked women.

The first victim noticed a man on a bicycle in the Cathedral Quarter, and after going to McDonald’s, she saw the same cyclist.

She noticed that he was holding a metal object, he collided with her and a short time later she noticed blood running down her leg and a cut on her right buttock.

The second woman was walking home from work and was attacked at a stop light on Ormeau Avenue. After McIlveen approached and glared at her, he jabbed her in the left arm before driving off.

A third victim was with a friend in Donegall Square West. A bicycle came up behind her and as she walked over to let him pass, he stabbed her in the neck.

McIlveen rode his bicycle through Belfast and attacked the women


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Another woman was on Bedford Street at around 8.55pm when a man on a bicycle hit her on the back of the head.

Then McIlveen’s next attack was on a woman walking down Dunluce Avenue, and on that occasion he punched his victim in the throat.

The latest attack occurred around 9 p.m. on University Street, when McIlveen clipped a woman as he drove past and stabbed her in the hip.

QC David Russell said police had launched a full investigation into the attacks.

CCTV images of the attacker were released in a media campaign, and after recognizing McIlveen, two relatives contacted police.

McIlveen was arrested and claimed that although his memory of the attacks was not clear, he told police he had dated a woman on the day of October 12.

McIlveen claimed he felt women were behind the problems in his life


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He said after the woman got up and left him alone in a bar he felt humiliated – and this led to the decision to go and hurt the woman as he believed women were responsible for everything what had gone wrong in his life.

McIlveen admitted he was about to smack one of the women in the face and said he attacked another woman when she made him “particularly angry” after she stepped on the road while driving past.

Judge Kinney said: “It is absolutely repulsive to think that this perceived rejection could in any way justify his actions by attacking vulnerable women in public places.

“The defendant engaged in a determined and premeditated campaign to harm innocent and vulnerable female victims. He made a conscious choice to target young women and his violence had only one aim and that was to hurt women.”

The judge said that after reading the victims’ impact statements, the “common theme is the distress” of those McIlveen “who are subjected to such random and serious violence.”

Defense attorney Patrick Lyttle QC said it was “pretty clear” his client would need help with a range of psychological issues in prison.

Judge Kinney said that while he accepted that there were medical issues, he agreed with a parole board assessment that McIlveen posed a serious risk of public harm and was a “dangerous offender.”

Based on that assessment, Judge Kinney imposed an extended sentence of nine years in prison, followed by an extended license term of three years to “protect the public.”

The ruling means McIlveen may not be automatically granted a license after serving half of his sentence.

His release will be decided by the parole officers and if that happens he will have a license for another three years.

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