News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

August 08, 2006

O'Loan Urges Action In Murder of Catholic

News About Ireland & The Irish

UT 08/08/06 O'Loan Urges Action Against Officer Over Police Probe


O'Loan Urges Action Against Officer Over Bungled Police Probe

A police officer in Northern Ireland could face
disciplinary action after a bungled attempted murder probe,
it has emerged.

By:Press Association

The inquiry into a suspected sectarian beating in Larne, Co
Antrim, contained a series of investigative errors, a
report found.

Although two men were charged with trying to kill Catholic
man Gerald McRandal, 33, in October 2002, the trial
collapsed 15 months later.

The suspects walked free following the withdrawal of eight
witnesses and the failure of a police officer to disclose
an unofficial notebook she used on the night of the attack.

Police also failed to seal off the crime scene in the
immediate aftermath.

Nuala O`Loan, the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman,
discovered only seven police officers were on duty in Larne
District Command unit, which has a population of more than
30,000, at the time Mr McRandal was assaulted.

Just three of them were available for patrol duties.

Mrs O`Loan has called for disciplinary action to be taken
against one officer involved in the inquiry and recommended
another undergo additional training.

She has made a series of recommendations to the PSNI in
respect of the failures in the investigation.

Mrs O`Loan said: "While many aspects of the police
investigation were conducted with due rigour, the initial
police response was inadequate and a number of serious
investigative errors occurred.

"In particular, the failure to cordon off and protect the
scene following the attack was a major failing and rendered
any evidence from the scene virtually worthless.

"This was compounded by the fact that police failed to
inform defence solicitors about an unofficial notebook
containing information central to the case.

"It is clear that while these investigative failures did
not on their own cause the collapse of the attempted murder
trial, they did further weaken a case in which eight key
witnesses had already withdrawn their evidence."

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said today it had
not yet received the Police Ombudsman`s report. In a
statement it added: "When we do we will consider its
findings and take on board the recommendations. We welcome
any proposals, which will contribute toward delivering an
effective and efficient policing service to all the people
of Northern Ireland.

"Whilst we have yet to see the Ombudsman`s report it is
worth pointing out that since this incident in 2002 the
Police Service has restructured and the Crime Operations
department is in place to assist in the effective
investigation of serious crime in Northern Ireland.

"A lot of work and training has been carried out in terms
of crime scene investigation. Any other lessons to be
learnt will be studied closely and taken on board."

To Subscribe to Irish Aires News List, click HERE.
To Unsub from Irish Aires News List, click Here
No Message is necessary.

Or get full news from Irish Aires Yahoo Group, Click here

To Get RSS Feed for Irish Aires News click HERE
(Paste into a News Reader)

To August Index
To Index of Monthly Archives
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?