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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK
Anger at double killer's day out
Carstairs State hospital
Robert Mone achieved notoriety when he escaped from Carstairs
An MSP has called for a "major review" of the release of violent prisoners after a notorious killer was allowed out of jail for a day.

Robert Mone, 58, spent Wednesday window shopping in Crieff as part of a programme to prepare him for freedom.

He was locked up permanently in 1977 for killing a policeman during a break-out from Carstairs State hospital that left two others dead.

Mone was sent there in 1967 for shooting dead a teacher in Dundee.

He was declared insane after he killed pregnant Nanette Hanson in her classroom during a siege at St John's RC Secondary School.

Rehabilitation course

In 1976, he and fellow inmate Robert McCulloch escaped from the top security hospital and murdered three people.

Mone killed PC George Taylor with an axe while McCulloch killed a male nurse and a patient.

At the time, the pair were described as the most dangerous men in Scotland.

For his part in the killings, Mone was deemed a risk to national security and jailed for life.

In 2002 he was ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years when a judge reviewed the sentence under new laws prompted by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

I worry about the prospect of that kind of person wandering around our streets without proper supervision
Conservative MSP Liz Smith

Prison chiefs are preparing Mone for release from HMP Shotts, where he was transferred two years ago.

He has undergone a rehabilitation course, and was allowed out on special escorted leave in Crieff on Wednesday.

Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Liz Smith lives close to the Perthshire town.

She told the BBC Scotland news website: "I was appalled when I heard this story. I think the public has got every right to be concerned about this."

Ms Smith also called for a "major review" of the way European human right rules permit the release of violent prisoners in Scotland.

She said: "The fact of the matter remains that he was a notorious killer with a very serious background and I worry about the prospect of that kind of person wandering around our streets without proper supervision.

"I think that is a matter of great public concern and it is issues like this that bring question marks over some aspects of the Scottish justice system."

A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service refused to comment on individual cases, but said all prisoners are subject to a risk assessment before they are released.

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