Convicted killer who stabbed woman 26 times rehoused in Mid Ulster

McBride stabbed Sally Driver 26 times, killing her
McBride stabbed Sally Driver 26 times, killing her

A convicted killer has been released from jail to a hostel in Mid Ulster, 17 years after stabbing a 48-year-old grandmother 26 times.

Liam ‘Birdie’ McBride, aged around 40, broke into Sally Driver’s north Belfast home and after handcuffing her two daughters killed her in what has been described as “murderous frenzy”.

The scene of the 1998 north Belfast murder

The scene of the 1998 north Belfast murder

Convicted of his crime in April 2000, McBride was released from Maghaberry Prison on Tuesday - the 17th anniversary of Mrs Diver’s savage murder.

Aged 23 at the time, the Belfast man broke into the family home on the Antrim Road in the early hours of July 28, 1998.

He had been on the run from prison and was awaiting trial for an earlier attack on Mrs Diver’s daughter Lynsey, whom he was previously in a relationship with.

When he was arrested close to Mrs Driver’s house on the New Lodge Road his shirt and jeans were covered in blood.

I would worry some girl could enter into a relationship with him having no idea of what he did before and what he’s capable of - a relative of Sally Driver

During his trial Mr Justice Sheil said McBride was guilty of “a savage murder which had robbed loving daughters of a devoted mother”.

Since his release, a close relative of the victim has voiced fears he could strike again.

“There has never been a picture of McBride and now he’s been released to a new place where the people living beside him will be totally unaware of just what kind monster he is,” they told the Irish News.

“I would worry some girl could enter into a relationship with him having no idea of what he did before and what he’s capable of.”