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HELP ME, HELP ME ..I'M DYING; Knifed gunrunner's desperate plea to shoppers.

Byline: By RON MOORE and ZOE WATSON

A LOYALIST gunrunner who held peace talks with the British Government was stabbed to death in front of New Year's Eve shoppers.

Lindsay Robb tried to flee the knifeman's frenzied attack and screamed: "Help me, I'm dying."

Although police arrived in minutes, Robb, 38, died at the scene, outside an off-licence on Gartloch Road, in Glasgow.

Last night, sources said the former UVF and LVF chief had been murdered in a row over drugs.

A witness said the killer opened Robb's Ford Focus door then launched his attack.

He added: "He tried to run away and was shouting, 'Help me, help me, I'm dying'. He was screaming at the top of his voice. But as he was running away, his attacker tripped him up and he fell to the ground.

"Robb tried to defend himself with a baker's tray but it was useless.

"The tray was knocked away from him and the murderer started jumping all over his body. There was blood everywhere.

"It seemed to go on for ages but it was all over in seconds. There were dozens of police here within a couple of minutes and the whole area was cordoned off."

Children playing near the scene were screaming and hysterical as the knifeman fled.

Police were last night studying CCTV footage from nearby shops.

Robb, a former member of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), held peace talks with Secretary of State Sir Patrick Mayhew in 1994.

A year later he was sentenced to 10 years in jail for gunrunning, serving half his sentence in Scotland before being moved to the Maze outside Lisburn.

In 1999, he became the first member of the LVF to be released under the Good Friday Agreement. Shortly after his release from prison he settled in Airdrie with his wife.

PUP leader David Ervine said yesterday the party had severed links with Robb.

He added: "I lost contact with him several years ago."

Father-of-two Robb, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, recruited his then UVF gang from Orange Lodges and loyalist bars in Central Scotland.

MI5 operatives followed Robb and four other loyalists as they plotted to open up a smuggling route into Northern Ireland.

The Tam Bain pub in Laurieston, Falkirk, was their meeting point.

Police followed the unit to Liverpool where they bought a consignment of weapons and brought them back to Scotland. Armed police swooped as their car drove through Airdrie. In 2002, Rangers fan Robb was banned from Ibrox stadium after he was accused of roaring sectarian abuse at former Celtic player Pierre van Hooijdonk - and spitting at a rival fan.

He was fined for committing a breach of the peace during the violence which marred the game between Rangers and Feyenoord.

Before his conviction Robb worked as a graphic designer for Morton Newspapers in Craigavon.

Just three months before his arrest, Robb had been a secret prosecution "eyewitness" at the murder trial of Lurgan republican Colin Duffy.

Duffy was jailed for the shooting of UDR sergeant John Lynas at his home in Lime Grove in the town.

However, Robb's testimony was dismissed by judges and Duffy was cleared on appeal. The officer leading Robb's murder hunt described it as "a frenzied attack".

Detective Inspector Allan Buchanan said: "The attack took place on a busy street. Police are particularly keen to speak to the owner of a white transit van which was parked in the layby next to the shops."

HOW A PEACEMAKER

BECAME LAWBREAKE

1994: Robb in peace talks with Sir Patrick Mayhew at Stormont

1995: Sentenced to 10 years in prison for gunrunning plot

1999: Is first LVF member freed under Good Friday Agreement

2002: Is banned from Ibrox for shouting abuse at ex-Celtic star

CAPTION(S):

DEFIANT; Robb raises a clenched fist in the air after he's jailed for gunrunning in Scotland in 1995; DELEGATION: Robb, right, at Stormont talks in 1994 with fellow PUP members
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 2, 2006
Words:656
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