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A - Z index







William Quinn


Liam Quinn


Kill Total: 1

Kill date:

February 1975

Kill Place:

Baron's Court, London






Stephen Andrew Tibble
D.O.B. 1953




The Old Bailey
Case No:  


Christopher Rose




Carlene Rohan


External References





William Quinn, an American born in San Francisco, from Irish ancestry, was a member of the terrorist organisation the IRA (Irish Republican Army). He and possibly four other men were sent to the UK to carry out terrorist attacks. He had made previous trips to training camps in Ireland.


26th February 1975, two police officers on patrol duty spotted Quinn leaving a house and became suspicious, Quinn fled,4 police officers then engaged a chase. Passing by on a motorbike Stephen Tibble, an off-duty policeman, who had only been n the Met police for 6-months, stepped into assist, Quinn fired three shots directly into Tibble's chest.


Quinn fled to Ireland where he was arrested as a suspected IRA member. He served time in an Irish prison.

Back in the UK police searched the house and found bomb making equipment, with Quinn's fingerprints, as well as the gun that had killed Tibble. 

A warrant was issued for Quinn, who then, after release in Ireland. fled back to San Francisco.

When the police intercepted the bomb making factory they made several other arrests, the gang became known as The Balcombe Street gang, who had held a couple hostage, and may have been responsible for the bomb that killed Guinness Book of records co-founder Ross McWhirter.


1981, Quinn arrested on the British warrant by the FBI in San Francisco.

A long dawn out legal battle started.


October 1986,Quinn successfully extradited from the USA to the UK. after a 5-year court battle that ended up in the American Supreme court.


11th February 1988, Quinn pleaded not guilty to the murder of off duty police constable Stephen Tibble. During the trial Quinn did not speak at all.


16th February 1988, Quinn sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommended 30 year term.

Judge Rose said "the shooting was an appalling, cold-blooded killing untinged by any remorse on your part, and motivated no doubt by the terrorist activities on which at that time you were engaged".


1977 PC. Stephen Tibble was posthumously awarded the Queens medal for gallantry, and a memorial was erected on the spot he was shot in Charleville Road in Barons Court, Lonmdon.


April 1999, As part of a political arrangement with Sinn Fein, the political arm of the IRA, known as the Good Friday Agreement, Quinn was freed from the high-security Portaloise Prison.




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