Sunday Life

Stone vows to remove graffiti himself

18 July 2004

CEMETERY killer Michael Stone last night vowed to come out of his secret London bolthole - to personally remove graffiti which claims he will be shot dead.

The former UFF hitman told Sunday Life he was "determined" to visit Belfast to remove the slogan which reads: 'M Stone your next - CIRA'.

But his plan has been branded a "publicity stunt" by Sinn Fein.

The graffiti was daubed on the side of the Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education's (BIFHE) building in College Square, last week.

Stone claims the slogan is a direct threat against him and his family, after revealing that he has a close relative studying at the campus.

The graveyard killer vowed to remove the graffiti himself because the school is closed.

Cops fear that if Stone does attempt to remove the paint, it could spark trouble in the area, because the building is located close to a small number of nationalist homes.

But Stone said: "I have tried to contact the college to get this graffiti removed, but it is closed and I have not been able to speak to anyone.

"If it is not removed soon I will have absolutely no problem going there myself to do the job. It's risky, but I'm not going to tolerate this threat from republican scum.

"I have a close relative at the college and they are very worried about this, because they think that they could be targeted because of their link to me.

"I will probably be arrested if I go to this area, but I'm determined to do this because I want the slogan removed immediately.

"The building is close to a small number of nationalist homes, but I'm willing to take my chances if I have a few boys to support me."

Local Sinn Fein councillor, Tom Hartley, branded Stone's plan a "publicity stunt".

He said: "I think that this man just hungers after publicity.

"My advice to anyone who wants to have graffiti removed is to contact the council's health and environmental department."

A police spokeswoman said they will investigate Stone's claims and added: "We take seriously any individual's plans which may lead to serious disorder."

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