THE brutal murderer who chopped up the body of Omagh teenager, Sylvia Fleming, after killing her in 1998, has been granted temporary release.
Stephen ‘Bulldog’ Scott is now in line to be freed for good by Christmas 2018.
Reacting to the development a sister of Sylvia Fleming has spoken of her family’s shock and anger after receiving news of his release.
Josie Fleming said the family has also been told that Scott has written a letter to them apologising for the murder and saying he does not intend returning to Omagh.
“We’re totally shocked at this development even though the expectation of his temporary release has been like a ticking time-bomb for us,” Josie Fleming told the Ulster Herald.
“It’s just so unfair that the person who murdered our sister is now free to walk the streets. Sylvia is gone and we have been left to grieve her loss for the past 17 years.
“Victim Support has told us that he (Scott) has written a one page letter in which he apparently states that he is not going to come to Omagh and has apologised for what he did.
“Our family believe this is just to gain brownie points to secure his release. What we want to know is if he has shown any remorse and why he murdered Sylvia.”
Scott killed Sylvia Fleming, who was pregnant, and then buried her body in the foundations of a house being constructed close to Killyclogher on April 3, 1998.
It later emerged that the PSNI had kept the unborn baby, and some of Sylvia’s joints and tissue.
The baby was subsequently named Morgan and was buried beside its mother at St Mary’s Church in Killyclogher after a poignant ceremony.
Following his conviction, the part-time firefighter received a life sentence.
Josie Fleming and her sister Kathleen, have previously spoken about their fears of his impending release and called for Scott to be kept behind bars.
Now they say nothing could have prepared them for the new which they have just received.
“You can never prepare yourself for the news that the man who murdered your sister is going to be released, even though we obviously knew that this day was coming,” added Josie.
“We are going to see the letter which he has written to us this week, but at the moment we don’t know what else it contains and if we will be allowed to keep a copy.”
A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Prison Service said that they were unable to comment on any prisoner’s individual circumstances.