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Monday, January 30, 2023

SAS Hero Who Gunned Down Ex In Jealous Murder Feared To Be Back In Scotland

A Scottish Special Forces hero who machine gunned his girlfriend to death in the Gulf War is feared to be back here after being released early.

In April 2000, Thomas Shanks, a veteran of the murder Vickie Fletcher outside a pub in Castleford, Yorkshire.

21 year old nurse Vickie is was shot Said by the ex-soldier on May 7, 1998, after she dumped him for a former patient. The then 47-year-old Glaswegian, a recipient of a military medal, was arrested after he fled back to his hometown.

There are fears he may have returned to the city and adopted a new identity following his early release from a British prison.

A source said: “Shanks is a professional soldier who is used to adopting a new identity and keeping a low profile. The fact that his release was not made public is surprising.”

Shanks dated Vickie for three years while working at Pontefract General Hospital. Shanks, maddened with jealousy, stalks Vicky and her new man to a bar and confronts them.

He then went home to pick up a Kalashnikov, a trophy he had served in the Gulf War, and returned to the scene. He also had an ax, a sheath knife and a baseball bat in his car.

Shanks confronted Vicky again outside the bar and shot her dead. He drove to Glasgow and was arrested at a phone booth in nearby Lennoxtown. Two police officers received bravery awards for catching him.

Shanks, who trained as an anesthesiologist after leaving the SAS, denied murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter, citing diminished liability.

the request was not accepted, and the jury found him guilty murder. He was jailed for at least 18 years in 2008 when a law change forced judges to impose minimum tariffs on life sentences.

But because he was originally jailed in 2000 and had already served two years awaiting trial, he was able to apply for parole in April 2016.



thomas shanks

If Shanks had been sentenced in 2008, he would have served more than 30 years in prison, the judge said. Records can show that the murderer, who grew up in Blackshear, roamed the streets for more than five years with the photo.

He was cleared to reintegrate into society in November 2017 following a Parole Board hearing. Shanks said at trial that he was not responsible for his shooting of Vickie and claimed that his mind was affected by Gulf War syndrome.

The trial judge said his defense was “sham”. Mrs Justice Cox rejected lawyers’ claim that his sentence should be reduced because of his “disorder”.



Vicky Fletcher.

She noted that before the murder, Shanks lost his temper multiple times and “managed” nurses on the job. The hospital issued a final warning to him about the incidents.

A spokesman for the Parole Board said: “The parole review is thorough and carried out with the utmost care. The protection of the public is our number one priority.”

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