Family's relief at death of murderer

THE brother of a man stabbed to death in a Leith pub 38 years ago today said he was "glad" the knifeman was dead.

Double killer Donald Forbes died in hospital with security guards at his side as Scotland's longest serving prisoner.

The 73-year-old murdered Charlie Gilroy in the Duke's Head pub in 1970, only six weeks after being released from jail for killing a nightwatchman in Granton.

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Today, Bill Gilroy, 70, said his family were pleased that Forbes was finally dead 50 years after he was sentenced to hang for his first murder.

Mr Gilroy said: "This could not have come soon enough. We're glad he's gone and it's all finished with. It's been a nightmare."

His brother Robert was also stabbed in the attack and he also condemned the notorious killer who died at Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Greenock.

He reportedly said: "I hope he burns in hell. He took my brother's life at 27 for nothing."

Forbes – who spent 45 years behind bars – was sentenced to hang in 1958 for killing Allan Fisher, 66, during a factory robbery in Lower Granton Road, but the death penalty was reduced after Forbes married his pregnant lover Rita McLean in jail.

Just over 11 years later, he was freed and went on to kill former soldier Mr Gilroy in July 1970.

Mr Gilroy had been out with his brother Robert to celebrate their brother John's wife giving birth.

Witnesses told his trial how Forbes had laughed at the dead body, then finished his pint before leaving the Duke Street pub.

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Bill Gilroy later teamed up with the Victims of Crime Trust to campaign for justice for victims' families.

Once branded an "incurable psychopath", Forbes – who was nicknamed Ginger – escaped from Peterhead prison.

He was recaptured near the site of his first murder and taken to the special unit at Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow, then transferred to Penninghame Open Prison in Wigtownshire in November 1996.

Edinburgh-born Forbes was freed in 1998 but jailed again for drug dealing in 2003.

He was serving a 12-year term in Greenock prison when he died.

Mr Fisher's great niece Janet Cameron, of Oxgangs, previously told the Evening News: "A leopard can't change his spots. He should be treated in the same way as Myra Hindley."