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Family left in dark over killer

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By Rod Edgar
Dumfries and West

A MURDERER’s bid for parole has left relatives of a Dumfries victim seething - after being left in the dark by authorities.

For the second time in two years, the family of Donald Nicholson have only learned of killer Rikki Stewart’s bid for freedom via contact from the widow of his second victim, killed in England.
Speaking out, Ray Nicholson, 64, of Dumfries, said: “My brother was murdered in 2001 – on the same day as the Twin Towers.
“In between murdering my brother he raped someone and went to Corby and murdered somebody else.”
Mr Nicholson says he only learned of Stewart’s two bids for freedom from the wife of his Corby victim, Philip Haselip.
He said: “This is the second time this man has applied for parole, first applying in 2012. But I only found out this because Gina Haselip managed to trace me through Facebook.
“I’ve now got another letter off her last week saying he’s applying for parole again.”
And he added: “What I object to is that Mrs Haselip is always informed when this man’s applying for parole, but me and my siblings in Dumfries are forgotten about.
“Do we not matter?”
Stewart, now 39, was a suspect in the killing of his mother’s boyfriend Donald Nicholson, 43, stabbed ten times in the chest in a flat in Dalswinton Avenue in Dumfries.
However, he was not charged due to insufficient evidence.
In August 2003 Stewart raped a 53-year-old grandmother and fled to England where he was subsequently arrested after murdering 52-year-old father-of-four Philip ‘Mick’ Haselip in a knife attack in Corby in November the same year.
Police wrote to Stewart in prison about Donald Nicholson’s death, and he admitted culpable homicide three years after the offence. He was convicted for that killing at the High Court in Edinburgh in July 2005.
He is now serving a life sentence for the Corby murder, ten years for the rape, to be followed by 12 years for the Dumfries death, together with an extended five years as he is judged at high risk of re-offending.
Now given the chance to object to parole, Ray Nicholson said: “If we hadn’t known we wouldn’t have had any chance to have input at all.”
He added: “We’re just opposed to him receiving parole because he hasn’t served long enough \_ the man is evil and a danger to society.”
The Parole Board say they do not have any direct contact with victims or their families, suggesting the Ministry of Justice is responsible for any communications.
They in turn have claimed Scottish authorities have that duty in this case, but this is disputed by the Crown Office.


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