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Son claims RUC withheld evidence

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Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers failed to properly investigate the murder of an off-duty colleague who was gunned down by the PIRA. A Police Ombudsman's report released today satates that some information was withheld from detectives investigating the murder.

Gavin Larmour, the son of murdered RUC Constable John Larmour claims senior members of the RUC protected the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) gunmen who was shot dead his father in Belfast, October 1988.
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Gavin Larmour says that some officers knew who the killer was but did not pass it on possibly because he was an informer.
Mr Larmour, 42, was shot dead by the PIRA in an ice cream parlour on the Lisburn Road. He had been helping his brother, who owned the business but was on holiday in Spain.

The Police Ombudsman's Office have upheld a complaint by Gavin Larmour that the police did not carry out a proper investigation.
In a report published today, Al Hutchinson also said that not all information available to the police was given to the detectives trying to find the killer.
"We accept the information was not necessarily evidence but it could have led to evidential opportunities which should have been explored by the police," said a spokesman.
"It did not happen in this case, as the police officers investigating the murder were never made aware of all the information available."
While noting the pressure on investigating officers working during the Troubles, the independent probe found that many routine procedures were not followed.
"More thoroughness would have been expected in relation to follow-up inquiries concerning witnesses, suspects, telephone calls and vehicles thought to have been used in the attack," added the spokesman. "Some of these inquiries were either not started or not completed."

Gavin Larmour said the report had confirmed his worst fears.
He said: "It has been confirmed that there is intelligence that was not passed on or has been ignored. "There are other lines of inquiry that were either not opened or not finalised, and basically the whole investigation from start to finish has been proven now to have been a farce."
He has now called for the police to launch a new investigation into his father's murder.
"While I welcome the Ombudsman`s statement of their findings, it merely gives official recognition of the fact that after 19 and a half years the investigation into my father`s murder was not given the care and attention that should have been expected of any murder case, let alone "one of their own," he said.
"I feel that the RUC/PSNI have let my dad, me, our families, and all of their members down by not doing their job.
"I have tirelessly sought to seek a satisfactory resolution and it has now been proven that numerous senior officers approached did not fully address my concerns.
"I have finally got an official acknowledgement that there were serious errors made in the original investigation but, despite this, the Ombudsman has not recommended any disciplinary or civil action against those responsible. I have still not received the truth and justice that I feel both my I dad and I are entitled to."
Mr Larmour said it is inexcusable that so many senior officers apparently failed to recognise the mistakes and omissions in the original handling of the case.
"At very best I feel it constitutes gross negligence, if not criminal misconduct," he added.
"I believe the findings of the 3rd (Lord) Stevens Enquiry (a probe examining security force links to paramilitaries in the north of Ireland) classify this as evidence of collusion.
"I now demand to know the reasons why my dad`s murder was not investigated as it should have been by his colleagues, and seek assurances that it will be professionally investigated and those responsible pursued to the fullest possible extent of the law.
"I can never get back the lost years of my childhood and the many happy years that I should have shared with my dad since his untimely death at the hands of those that have never been brought to justice, but I now need a full, proper, public investigation in the hope that I can finally get on with what is left of my life."

DUP assembly member Ian Paisley Jnr said the police should reopen the investigation into Mr Larmour's murder.
"It only serves to fuel the view that there was something very serious to hide," he said. "That is such a serious allegation, the police must reopen that case and with expedition find the murderer and get to the bottom of this case, either to allay the fears that have been put about or, indeed, prove those fears."

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