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Reevel Alderson, Home Affairs Correspondent
"The tribunal decided Glover was not a threat to the public"
 real 28k

BBC Scotland's David Allison reports
"Glover was released despite pleas from the family of her victim"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 26 January, 2000, 20:19 GMT
Release for playground killer

Glover trial Barbara Glover was sent to jail in 1991

A tribunal has granted the release of a school playground killer who was ordered to be detained without limit of time.

Barbara Glover was 15 when she was sent to Cornton Vale Prison for the murder of Diane Watson in 1991.

Despite calls from the parents of the murdered schoolgirl to oppose release, the Parole Board for Scotland said Glover would be allowed out of prison on life licence.

The tribunal concluded that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that Barbara Glover should continue to be confined
Sheriff Brian Lockhart
The Designated Life Tribunal which met to consider Glover's case said it "fully appreciated" the Watsons' feelings on the matter, but had decided to proceed with release.

Glover stabbed Diane in the liver and heart with a kitchen knife after a playground row at Whitehill Secondary School in Glasgow, in a murder which shocked Scotland.

However, the tribunal, which said it was not obliged to release the background to its decision, believed Glover, now 24, no longer represented a danger to the public.

The parole tribunal hearing at Cornton Vale followed a ruling in 1998 that Glover should serve a minimum of seven years.

However, Glover became eligible for parole when the European Convention on Human Rights was incorporated into Scots law.

Barbara Glover Barbara Glover: Teenage killer
And the case of children and juveniles jailed without limit of time was highlighted when the European Court of Human Rights ruled on the James Bulger murder case in November.

The court ruled that the two boys convicted of killing the Liverpool toddler were entitled to know when they were likely to be released.

It also stated that politicians such as the home secretary or the Scottish first minister could not take that decision.

Announcing the decision, tribunal chairman Sheriff Brian Lockhart said it was felt Glover had met the criteria for release.

The decision was a setback for Diane's parents, Jim and Margaret Watson, who had demonstrated against Glover's release at Cornton Vale.

Tragically, the Watsons' only other child Alan committed suicide 18 months after Diane's death when he read reports about his sister in a magazine.

Detailed submissions

He left a note saying: "Sorry mum and dad, but I just had to be with Diane."

Sheriff Lockhart said: "The tribunal considered the detailed submissions made available by and on behalf of Mr and Mrs Watson.

"The tribunal fully appreciated the depth of their feelings in opposing Barbara Glover's release and appreciated the devastating effect that the murder of their daughter has had on their lives."

Playground The victim was murdered in the playground
"Having regard to all the information and submissions before it, the tribunal concluded that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that Barbara Glover should continue to be confined."

But the Watson's local MSP, Paul Martin, said the release was too early.

The Labour MSP for Glasgow Springburn said: "I think we have to support Margaret and Jim Watson in every way possible through what will be a very difficult period for them.

"Margaret and Jim don't believe that an eight-year sentence is sufficient given that they have lost both their son and daughter in such tragic circumstances."

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See also:
24 Jan 00 |  Scotland
Parents protest at killer's parole bid
17 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Bulger ruling stops trial
16 Dec 99 |  UK
Bulger killers' trial ruled unfair

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