Former RUC officer to be charged in Hamill case


MORE THAN 13 years after his killing, three people are to be charged in connection with the murder of Robert Hamill in Portadown, Co Armagh, it was announced yesterday.

The North’s Public Prosecution Service (PPS) confirmed that based on evidence provided to the Robert Hamill Inquiry, there are grounds to prosecute three people in relation to his death. One of those to be charged is a former RUC officer, it is understood.

In a statement, the PPS said: “It has concluded that the test for prosecution is met in respect of two persons for an offence of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and one person for an offence of doing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice”.

Mr Hamill (25), a Catholic, died 11 days after he was assaulted by a loyalist mob in a sectarian attack in the centre of Portadown on April 27th, 1997.

A public inquiry into his killing ran for 77 days between January 13th and December 17th, 2009. It investigated a number of allegations, including a claim that RUC officers who were close to the scene failed in their duty to intervene, that one officer colluded with a suspect, that suspects were not detained on the night and that the crime scene was not properly maintained.

The inquiry is charged with “determining whether any wrongful act or omission by or within the RUC facilitated his death or obstructed the investigation of it, or whether attempts were made to do so; whether any such act or omission was intentional or negligent; whether the investigation of his death was carried out with due diligence, and to make recommendations”.