Three-time loyalist killer Garfield Beattie back on the streets following shock release

When he’s confronted, Beattie barked: “I can’t talk to you – if I do I’ll get a bullet in the head”

Garfield Beattie

Our man Hugh Jordan confronts Beattie at his home this week

Denise Mullen this week at the grave of her father Denis

Denis Mullen was shot dead at the front door of his family home on September 1, 1975.

Beattie’s letter threat

Hugh JordanSunday World

Three-time loyalist killer Garfield Beattie is back on the streets, the Sunday World can reveal.

The 66-year-old former UVF hitman walked free from the North’s Maghaberry prison last weekend.

Last November, Beattie was jailed for 15 months for sending a threatening letter – purportedly from the East Tyrone UVF – to the politician daughter of one of his victims.

The former loyalist lifer spent just over eight months behind bars.

Acting on a tip-off, the Sunday Worldconfronted Beattie at his home hours after he was released.

But as he raced to close the door in our reporter’s face, Beattie barked: “I can’t talk to you – if I do I’ll get a bullet in the head.”

In an astonishing development minutes later, Beattie’s victim Denise Mullen informed us she had already spotted Beattie out riding his bike along a country road.

She added that the authorities had failed to let her know Beattie was out until the following day.

“To tell you the truth, I got the shock of my life,” said Councillor Mullen.

“Earlier this week I was driving along, I had the radio blaring and the sun was shining. I felt great.

“But then I saw Beattie – brass-necked as ever – riding his bike towards me.

“I felt sick in the pit of my stomach. And I very nearly drove the car into the ditch. I was in complete shock and I had to pull in at the side of the road, until I had recovered enough to continue,” she said.

Beattie was a teenager when he was jailed for life for the shocking murder of 35-year-old ambulance controller Denis Mullen.

A member of the SDLP, Mr Mullen worked as an election agent for Seamus Mallon. While on duty at an election count he challenged a voter who was attempting to use the vote of a deceased person.

A short time later, he was gunned down by Beattie and another UVF at his family home outside Moy, Co. Tyrone, in September 1976.

His wife Olive escaped the relentless machine-gun attack by jumping out a window and running for her life.

Seamus Mallon, who arrived at the scene soon afterwards, found Denise – a four-year-old toddler at the time – standing over her deceased father’s body in her blood-splattered nightdress.

At his trial in Crumlin Road Courthouse in Belfast, Beattie was also convicted for his part in the savage killings of Frederick McLoughlin (48) and Patrick McNeice (50).

Both men were shot in Co. Armagh the same year.

Two years ago, Denise Mullen – who represents the Aontú party on the local council – began legal proceedings against Beattie.

But last year she received a typed but unsigned letter, purportedly from the East Tyrone Ulster Volunteer Force. And it demanded she drop her case against Garfield Beattie.

Beattie was charged and convicted of sending the threatening letter and was freed after spending just eight months behind bars.

Today's Headlines

More Northern Ireland

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos