The mother of murdered Belfast teenager Peter Mc Bride has described the announcement by NIO Minister John Spellar that bail conditions for people accused of serious offences are to be tightened as “hypocritical in the extreme”. Speaking this morning Jean Mc Bride said,

“John Spellar has a cheek talking about when people accused of serious offences should be released on bail. He sat on an Army Board and decided that two soldiers who were convicted of murder should be given back their guns and retained in his army. Murder is the most serious offence under law and those convicted of murder are not even allowed to apply for a gun licence yet this hypocrite handed Guardsmen Fisher and Wright back their guns. What right does he have to make any announcements on criminal justice when he denied our family any justice and thumbed his nose at the verdict of the courts here? If someone was convicted of a drugs offence would he give them back their drugs and put them back on the streets?”

On April 20/21 2004 the Mc Bride family will seek to overturn the MoD decision to retain Guardsmen Fisher and Wright at Belfast High Court. On 11 March Peter Mc Bride senior met with officials at the German Embassy in Dublin to highlight the fact that the convicted murderers of his son were based at Oxford Barracks in Muenster, Germany. Legal papers were delivered to embassy officials and these are now being translated and passed on to the German Foreign and Defence ministries. The Irish Government also contacted the German Embassy to reiterate their support for the Mc Bride family.