Irish Republican News · December 20, 2014
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Legal action over protection of UVF assassin
Legal action over protection of UVF assassin

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The widow of a factory worker murdered by unionist paramilitaries more than 40 years ago is to sue the PSNI police and the British Ministry of Defence.

Margaret Campbell alleges the police and British Army colluded to protect the notorious UVF gunman who shot her husband Patrick Campbell at their home in 1973.

No-one has ever been convicted of the sectarian killing, which is believed to have been carried out by the notorious Glenanne gang - a loyalist Mid-Ulster murder squad who were linked directly and indirectly with the Crown forces.

“We hope this will bring some sort of closure,” Mrs Campbell said. “We’ve nothing to lose. If my husband’s death had been investigated at the time there might have been other lives saved.”

Patrick Campbell, a father of three, was gunned down at his home on Cline Walk, Banbridge, County Down on October 29 1973.

His wife and 10-year-old daughter, Donna, narrowly escaped injury after a burst of gunfire was aimed down the hallway.

Mrs Campbell, who choked back tears as she relived the horrific moment, said: “It never leaves you and never will. When the guns went off my legs collapsed. I crawled up against a radiator and Pat came down on top of me.

“The bullets blew a hole in [Donna’s] bedroom door and they were embedded in the headboard of her bed. If she had got up she would have been dead too.”

The alleged gunman, Robin Jackson (pictured), was an agent who worked for the RUC Special Branch.

Jackson, a former UDR soldier later dubbed ‘The Jackal’, was thought to have been behind some of the worst atrocities of the conflict including the Monaghan bombing in 1974 and the Miami Showband massacre in July 1975.

He was a member of the Glenanne gang - a UVF unit linked to around 120 murders in Counties Armagh and Tyrone over a five-year period in the 1970s and it is believed Patrick Campbell was his first victim.

Jackson worked alongside Mr Campbell at the Down Shoes factory in Banbridge.

A week after the shooting police found 79 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition at his home and he was singled out three times by Mrs Campbell during a police identity parade at Castlereagh RUC station as the man responsible for producing a handgun when the killers came to her home.

RUC members also found a notebook with names, addresses and vehicle registration details which it is alleged came from UDR intelligence sources.

However, it was decided there was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction.

Jackson died in 1998, aged 50. An investigation by the Historical Enquiries Team found that Jackson’s “later notoriety, with the benefit of hindsight, raises suspicions about his involvement and gives rise to the concerns expressed by the family”.

Lawyer Kevin Winters, who is representing the family, said: “The civil action being taken by Margaret Campbell on behalf of her family against the PSNI and the MoD is an important development in their movement towards closure, truth, justice and accountability regarding the murder of Pat Campbell in 1973.

“The litigation will expose the level of collusion which was evident in the activities of the RUC, the UDR and other state agents in the Armagh and Tyrone areas.”

© 2014 Irish Republican News