‘No misconduct’ in RUC/PSNI handling of officer’s affair with ally of gang linked to Ronan Kerr murder

The update was delivered on the day a 36-year-old was sentenced for a weapons find made three days after the murder.

Officers say that the investigation into the murder is the largest ever undertaken by the force and that they have identified the group they believe carried out the car bomb that killed Kerr in April 2011. They also believe they can link this group to other incidents.

imageGavin Coyle, who was today 15th  January 2014 was sentenced to 10 years, leaving Dungannon Magistrates Court in 2011. (Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

The PSNI’s assistant chief constable for crime operations Drew Harris described the investigation into the murder as “lengthy and complicated”:

Although we have yet to bring charges for Ronan’s murder, this investigation, which is the largest in the PSNI’s history, is far from over. Detectives in serious crime branch have linked a total of 17 incidents to the same network of individuals and terrorist groupings. These include attempts to murder other police officers, a bomb attack, arms finds and armed robberies.

“We have made progress and we believe there is potential to bring other individuals before the courts. But we are not complacent,” added Harris.

PSNI constable Kerr was killed when booby-trap bomb went off after he got into his car at Highfield Close in Omagh on Saturday, 2 April 2011.

The PSNI say that the resultant investigation has led to 14 arrests, 123 house searches and the seizure of 7,947 items.

Coalisland guns and explosive seizure

The update on the investigation was provided by the PSNI as 36-year-old Gavin Coyle, of Culmore Road, Omagh, was sentenced to a total of 10 years after admitting having guns and explosives with intent to endanger life and being a member of the IRA. Five years will be in custody with five 

The arms and explosives, which included assault rifles and Semtex, were uncovered by detectives in premises at Mountjoy Road, Coalisland, Co Tyrone three days after the murder of  Kerr in April 2011.

Following Coyle’s sentencing, PSNI officers have released a number of photos of the items seized that led to his conviction.

PSNI close to Ronan Kerr charges as man sentenced over guns and explosive find

PSNI constable Kerr was killed by a booby-trap bomb in his car in Omagh on Saturday, 2 April 

POLICE INVESTIGATING THE murder of PSNI constable Ronan Kerr have said that they believe they are close to making further charges.

The update was delivered on the day a 36-year-old was sentenced for a weapons find made three days after the murder.

Officers say that the investigation into the murder is the largest ever undertaken by the force and that they have identified the group they believe carried out the car bomb that killed Kerr in April 2011. They also believe they can link this group to other incidents.

imageGavin Coyle, who was today sentenced to 10 years, leaving Dungannon Magistrates Court in 2011. (Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

The PSNI’s assistant chief constable for crime operations Drew Harris described the investigation into the murder as “lengthy and complicated”:

Although we have yet to bring charges for Ronan’s murder, this investigation, which is the largest in the PSNI’s history, is far from over. Detectives in serious crime branch have linked a total of 17 incidents to the same network of individuals and terrorist groupings. These include attempts to murder other police officers, a bomb attack, arms finds and armed robberies.

“We have made progress and we believe there is potential to bring other individuals before the courts. But we are not complacent,” added Harris.

PSNI constable Kerr was killed when booby-trap bomb went off after he got into his car at Highfield Close in Omagh on Saturday, 2 April 2011.

The PSNI say that the resultant investigation has led to 14 arrests, 123 house searches and the seizure of 7,947 items.

Coalisland guns and explosive seizure

The update on the investigation was provided by the PSNI as 36-year-old Gavin Coyle, of Culmore Road, Omagh, was sentenced to a total of 10 years after admitting having guns and explosives with intent to endanger life and being a member of the IRA. Five years will be in custody with five on licence.

The arms and explosives, which included assault rifles and Semtex, were uncovered by detectives in premises at Mountjoy Road, Coalisland, Co Tyrone three days after the murder of  Kerr in April 2011.

Following Coyle’s sentencing, PSNI officers have released a number of photos of the items seized that led to his conviction.

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Rónán Duffy

#CAR BOMB

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RUC/PSNI cleared of misconduct in handling of Kerr murder probe

THE POLICE OMBUDSMAN has cleared the RUC/PSNI of misconduct in its handling of a policewoman’s affair with an associate of a gang linked to Constable Ronan Kerr’s murder.
 
Mr Kerr’s family made a complaint to the watchdog after The Irish News in 2018 revealed the policewoman in Co Tyrone had been reprimanded but allowed to return to work. The family raised concerns about the adequacy of the internal RUC/PSNI probe and whether it impacted on the murder investigation. Mr Kerr, a 25-year-old Catholic policeman, was murdered in 2011 when a booby-trap bomb exploded under his car in Omagh. No-one has been convicted of the murder by dissident republican paramilitaries, although one person (Gavin Coyle) was jailed for offences connected to the investigation. It is understood the man whom the policewoman was involved is associated with members of a criminal gang linked to the killing. The criminal gang is suspected of involvement in the theft of cars for dissidents involved in the murder plot. The policewoman was suspended from duty after the affair emerged and the RUC/PSNI launched an investigation. In 2014, the RUC/PSNI sent a file in relation to the case to the (PPS) Public Prosecution Service, although it decided not to pursue a criminal prosecution.
RUC/PSNI the corrupt police service in the occupied six Counties of the North of Ireland
 
In 2008 several complaints were upheld at an internal disciplinary hearing and the officer’s pay was docked, but she returned to operational duty. Police said it never referred the matter to the Police Ombudsmen because it was “not the subject of a public complaint”. The Police Ombudsman’s office in a statement confirmed the conclusion of its investigation. A spokesman said: “On March 14th 2018, The Irish News published a story that a serving police officer had been disciplined following an internal police investigation into her relationship with a man reported to be associated with members of a gang linked to the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr. “We subsequently received a complaint from Constable Keer’s family which raised concerns relating to the adequacy of the internal police investigation of this matter, and about possible implications for the investigation of Constable Keer’s murder. “We investigated these matters and found that the internal police investigation had been appropriately thorough, and that police had given consideration to any potential impact on the murder investigation. “There was no evidence of any misconduct in the way these matters were addressed by police.”
 
An RUC/PSNI spokesman said the matter had been investigated in 2013 by its Anti-Corruption Unit. “The RUC/PSNI is committed to ensuring that it’s officers and staff behave according to the highest ethical standards and we are committed to working with PONI [Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland] to detect and address behaviour which falls below these standards,” he said. Police said their their investigation into Mr Kerr’s murder is continuing and again urged anyone with information to come forward, “particularly about the origin and sourcing of the component parts of the bomb”. “Since Ronan was killed, detectives have made a significant amount of progress relating to his murder and a series of linked incidents, including attempts to murder other police officers, a bomb attack, arms finds and armed robberies,” they said. “Our resolve and the resolve of Ronan’s family remains as strong today as it was on the day that Ronan was killed. “If you can assist in any way by providing information, please do so. It is the right thing to do. Ronan and his family deserve justice.”
 
With many thanks to: The Irish News and Brendan Hughes for the original story – b.hughes@irishnews.com 
 

 

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