October 23rd, 2014

Murder victim Bobby Moffett's sister demands answers from PSNI

Northern IrelandBy Steven Moore
Lily Kelly
Lily Kelly

The sister of UVF murder victim Bobby Moffett says she wasn’t surprised to be told the police are refusing to cooperate fully with the Police Ombudsman about her brother’s killing.

Lily Kelly says she contacted her solicitor after seeing that Police Ombudsman Michael Maguire is suing the Chief Constable Matt Baggott over allegations the PSNI are withholding information about 60 murders.

Bobby Moffett was gunned down in broad daylight during a busy shopping day on the Shankill Road four years ago. 

Despite numerous arrests nobody has ever been charged with his death, which was sanctioned and carried out by the UVF.

“When I saw it on the news I contacted my solicitor and he was able to find out that Bobby’s case is one of the 60 murders that the PSNI are being taken to court over,” said Lily Kelly.

 

“I’m furious but I’m hardly surprised to be honest. We have long thought the police are protecting someone. They know who killed Bobby but nobody has been charged.

 

“That’s why we went to the Ombudsman in the first place because we thought something was very wrong about the way they were investigating Bobby’s murder.

 

“We have no faith in the police and this has just confirmed our worst fears.”

And Lily says she doesn’t know if the family will ever get justice for Bobby.

“It’s appalling that a group like the UVF can take away a life in such a brutal manner - I mean it was broad daylight on a busy street when they gunned him down in cold blood.

“And this wasn’t something that happened back during the Troubles - this is only four years ago - there’s no excuse for not bringing these people to justice.

“The police should be doing everything to bring those people to court but something is wrong. We are meeting with our solicitor this week to get more details about what exactly the police are withholding.”

Michael Maguire took the unprecedented action of taking the Chief Constable to court because he said his team couldn’t operate properly without the necessary information.

Another of the cases involves Catholic police Constable Peadar Heffron.

As captain of the PSNI’s Gaelic football team and an Irish speaker he was a high profile target for dissident republicans.

In January 2010, he was critically injured as he left his home near Randalstown, County Antrim, to travel to work in Belfast.

The Police Ombudsman later received a tip-off claiming that weeks before the bombing, someone had warned the PSNI of a potential attack on an unnamed police officer.

The PSNI have refused to hand over information about that warning.

They have also been accused of withholding information about the murder of another police officer, John Larmour who was shot dead by the IRA in 1988.

His son, Gavin, says the PSNI have deliberately blocked the Ombudsman’s investigation into the murder because they were protecting an informer.

The PSNI has said it had a legal responsibility for the management of all information that it holds, and that it could not release information if it could potentially endanger lives.

However, the Police Ombudsman and his senior investigators have top-level security clearance - the same as the chief constable and other senior police officers.

The PSNI say they hope to resolve the dispute without the need to go into court.