Sunday 18 February 2018

Killer vowed to make town 'famous as Dunblane'

DERRICK Bird threatened to make his hometown of Whitehaven as "famous as Dunblane" several weeks before embarking on his murderous rampage, writes Jonathan Browne.

He made the chilling link to the Scottish town where 16 schoolchildren and their teacher were killed by gunman Thomas Hamilton in 1996 during a routine inquiry into hiring a diving boat.

The second day of the inquest into the deaths of Bird and his 12 victims heard that he had talked about suicide just hours before his spree last June.

His mental deterioration was triggered, witnesses claimed, when he received a letter over unpaid tax the previous month.

But while close friends observed his paranoia, heavy drinking and threats to "top himself", Peter McLean, a Solway Sub Aqua Club official, said his remarks had struck him as particularly sinister.

Bird said: "Whitehaven will be as famous as Dunblane." When asked to explain he said: "You'll see soon enough."

The inquest continues. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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