Murder suspect dies in custody

Tue, Sep 4, 2012, 01:00

A man arrested in connection with the murder of a man in east Belfast has died in police custody.

The 34-year-old, arrested on Saturday, died at Musgrave PSNI station in the city centre this morning.

He was one of three people being questioned about the murder of George Gray, whose body was found at his home in Cregagh Road on Friday evening.

The Police Ombudsman’s Office said it has started an investigation into the man’s sudden death.

A man (29) who was also arrested on Saturday morning and a 62-year-old woman who was held on Monday afternoon remain in police custody.

At the weekend detectives investigating Mr Gray’s murder said the victim (52) had been subjected to a “vicious assault”.

The father-of-three, a football fan who kept to himself, was found dead by a close friend on Friday evening.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokesman said: “The 34-year-old man arrested on Saturday morning by detectives investigating the murder of 52-year-old George Gray has died in custody in Musgrave Police Station this morning, Tuesday 4th September.

“An investigation has been launched by the Police Ombudsman Office following this sudden death.”

Police Ombudsman Michael Maguire launched an investigation into the incident.

A spokesman for the ombudsman said: “Our investigators are at Musgrave Police Station and are overseeing a detailed forensic examination of the scene in order to establish the exact circumstances of the death.

“Police Ombudsman family liaison officers have been in contact with the deceased man’s family and the coroner’s office has been informed.

“A postmortem examination will be conducted in due course. The man’s name has not yet been released.”

SDLP MLA Conall McDevitt said: “I am deeply concerned that this man has

died suddenly in police custody following a number of days of police questioning. I eagerly await the outcome of the Police Ombudsman’s investigation into this matter.

“People will clearly question why this man had been in police custody since Saturday until his death on Tuesday morning without being transferred from the PSNI station.”

PA