THE parents of advocate Paul McBride have spoken for the first time of the difficulty they have faced coming to terms with his death.
The outspoken QC died suddenly while on holiday in Pakistan with fellow lawyer Aamer Anwar in March.
He flew to the country for a wedding after holidaying with his parents Mary, 69, and George, 71, in Abu Dhabi.
They walked him to the taxi in front of the hotel, and waved him off. It was the last time either saw their son alive.
Speaking to a tabloid newspaper yesterday, Mrs McBride, 69, said: “His suitcase from the last trip remains locked. We cannot bring ourselves to open it.
“It doesn’t get easier, it gets harder.
“At first it’s a dream, then you wake up. Then it gets worse. It’s dreadful. We just can’t move on.”
She revealed she urged her son to stay away from football after he was targeted in bomb threats.
Neil Lennon, who Mr McBride had represented, and former MSP Trish Godman, a Celtic fan, were also sent packages.
Trevor Muirhead, 44, and Neil McKenzie, 42, of North Ayrshire, were both jailed for five years each for sending devices they believed were capable of exploding and causing severe injury.
Mrs McBride said: “When he told me I went very quiet and told him it was time to stop his involvement in everything to do with football. I know that incident really shook him.
“He said people didn’t seem to care that Neil had received bombs and bullets but seemed to take more interest when he was sent a package.”
Mr McBride was called to the bar at 24, and at 35, became the UK’s youngest ever QC. He was seen as one of the country’s leading legal minds.
He was also politically active, first with Labour and then the Conservatives, but became disillusioned with both.
Mrs McBride said: “I used to complain we did not see enough of him.
“That’s why he used to take us on holidays. I told him that one day we wouldn’t be here. Now he’s not here. Latterly there was so much demand on him – it was 24 hours a day.
“He did so much for so many and often took nothing in return. I felt he was getting unhappy and fed up with law.
“What he wanted was to semi-retire, do some high-profile cases and travel.”
Despite his success, Mr McBride stayed close to his parents, and they were always very proud of him.
His father George said: “He got fantastic results. People respected him.”
The couple went to court to watch him represent clients. Mrs McBride said: “He was always quiet until he was riled. Then, my God, he was like a tiger.”
The last thing they heard from him was a text saying he had arrived safely. Mrs McBride said: “He sent a text to George telling him he was the only person in first class on the flight and later called to say he had been sick and had diarrhoea.
“He thought it was something to do with the food. The next day he said he was staying one more day and the next morning George sent him a text and never got a reply.”
A post-mortem found no suspicious circumstances and no physical injuries. Medics said he had advanced symptoms of heart disease and could have died at any time.