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Thursday, August 5, 1999 Published at 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK


Released killer says: 'I'm not cured'

Killer Ruddle tells a newspaper that he still needs medical help

A convicted killer who sparked controversy after being freed from a state psychiatric hospital in Scotland is reported to have said he is not cured.

Noel Ruddle, who was released on Monday, told Scotland's Daily Record newspaper he will probably need medical help as he adjusts to the outside world.

The 44-year-old served seven years for shooting his next door neighbour, Jimmy McConville, with a Kalashnikov assault rifle in 1991.

[ image: Jimmy McConville was shot dead by Ruddle]
Jimmy McConville was shot dead by Ruddle
He was sent to Carstairs hospital without but was given an absolute discharge by a sheriff because his mental illness was deemed untreatable.

In the Daily Record article, Ruddle said: "I think there are situations where I might need help and it is not there for me.

"Having said that, I have been out of Carstairs since Monday and has any member of the public suffered yet?"

"This kind of condition could happen to anybody. I think people have to realise that anyone could be at risk."

The report also said Ruddle, who is believed to be living in England, boasted about beating the system.

"It had become a personal battle against the system and I felt I had gained a victory, that I had beaten the system. I had used the laws they had set down," he told reporters.

[ image: Ruddle served seven years at Carstairs Hospital]
Ruddle served seven years at Carstairs Hospital
The family of Ruddle's victim and Scottish politicians expressed outrage that an apparent legal loophole had allowed the killer to walk free.

The case has prompted the Scottish Executive to promise moves which will lead to changes in the law and prevent similar situations arising.

Ruddle said he has made no plans for the future and added: "It is not knowing where I am going, or where I am staying that gets to me."

The newspaper report also quoted former Carstairs teacher Pamela Strachan, who has allegedly been with Ruddle since his release.

The Daily Record said she now wants nothing more to do with the convict and she has returned to her mother's home in Carnwarth, Lanarkshire.

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