July 2018

Murderer who served 25 years is back behind bars after targeting terrified teenager

CONVICTED murderer Michael McLaughlin is back under lock and key, only days after we revealed he had passed his phone number to a young woman the same age as his 18-year-old victim.

McLaughlin (50) was released from his life sentence last year for the brutal murder of Jill Bishop, of Bray, in 1981.

It has now emerged he was returned to prison when authorities became aware of the story in Monday’s Herald.

“There would be concerns that his behaviour could be inappropriate. He will now have to wait to go before the Parole Board again,” a source said.

It is understood that McLaughlin was placed back in jail on Thursday after arriving at Mountjoy to sign on as part of his release conditions.

We reported how it was only when a Dublin teenager recently approached by McLaughlin saw his photo in the paper that she realised who he was.

“Having considered all the facts, we feel we did the right thing,” her father said yesterday.

“My daughter does not have to look over her shoulder now. Other girls in the area can feel safer too.”

Jill’s sister, Karen, said the fact that McLaughlin was back behind bars proved that having his picture made public was important.

“If it wasn’t for the media, the girl that McLaughlin was approaching in the cafe would never have known who he was,” she said.

Karen added that every serious criminal should be electronically tagged on release.

“This should be mandatory,” she said.

Earlier this week, the girl McLaughlin approached said: “If I hadn’t seen the picture, I wouldn’t have known how dangerous the man who had been repeatedly approaching me has been in the past.”

She described how the killer approached her at her work in a cafe north of Dublin city.

“There was something weird about him. It wasn’t just casual conversation. It was like, ‘What do you do?’ and ‘What are your hobbies?’ and ‘Where are you going to college?’ and even ‘Where do you live?’,” she said.

“Around Christmas, he came up the queue to the side of the counter and slipped a piece of paper to me. It was a phone number and a message saying ‘Call after 2pm on a weekday. Mick’. I thought it was weird.

“About two weeks later, he called me over and asked me to call him.”

She then noticed him in other places, such as the city centre, where he would approach her and try to initiate conversation.

“I would try to be polite and not make a scene,” she said.

When the Herald published McLaughlin’s picture, it was spotted by a fellow worker in the cafe, who drew the girl’s attention to it.

“I was very upset over it, and for the girl he had killed,” she said. “How can someone do that, go to prison for years and then come out and start linking up with young women the same age as his victim?

“What awful thing does he need to do to someone before gardai consider him a risk?”

McLaughlin beat Jill to death after meeting her at a Halloween disco in a hotel. Her naked body was found the next day.

He had also forced a £1 coin down her throat.