British soldiers 'staking out scene' as UVF murder ed woman (76)


British soldiers were staking out the scene where a 76-year-old woman was murdered by the UVF eight years ago but were told "not to react" after they heard gunfire. The army also had a hidden camera in the vicinity which may have recorded evidence concerning the killers as they moved into the area, according to a report yesterday.

Ms Roseanne Mallon was murdered on May 8th, 1994, by a UVF gunman who shot her through the window of her home in a rural setting outside Dungannon, Co Tyrone. An automatic weapon was used.

Her killing and the subsequent police investigation have been the subject of controversy since, but what may be new evidence prompts fresh questions for both police and army.

A secret police report, details of which are claimed to be known to the Belfast Telegraph, asserts: 1, police officers investigating the killing were not told of the soldiers' presence at the scene; 2, details captured by a hidden army camera were kept secret; and 3, some 14 hours of tapes and details from army logs "went missing".

Questions arise over the handling of intelligence material by RUC Special Branch and its distribution with detectives in the crime division or CID. It was said at the time that the hidden camera was incapable of working after dark, yet one Special Branch officer has referred to details caught on tape after midnight.

The RUC completed an internal investigation into the killing in 1995, but this has not been published.

Both the PSNI and the British army declined to comment yesterday when contacted by The Irish Times. Citing a preliminary court hearing which is to deal with legal issues surrounding the case, both said comment "would be inappropriate".

Ms Mallon's nephews, Martin and Christopher Mallon, had served jail terms for IRA-related offences in the 1980s and it is thought this was why the house was monitored by the army.