RUC man escapes charges over killing
RUC man escapes charges over killing


The mother of an unarmed IRA Volunteer shot dead more than 30 years ago has said she is disappointed by a decision not to prosecute the RUC man who killed him.

Colum Marks was killed in Downpatrick, County Down while on active service on April 10 1991. Originally from Newry, the 29-year-old was shot several times in the back by an undercover RUC member. He died in hospital.

A new investigation was launched in 2016 after an eyewitness came forward with an account which supported claims by the Marks family that Colum was shot after he was arrested.

The now retired RUC man who killed him has also admitted he was “asked to lie if questioned” by his superiors.

A court hearing in 2018 was told that the RUC man told the Police Ombudsman’s Office he had been asked to lie about “post-incident procedures”, although details have never emerged.

Crown prosecutors told relatives of Mr Marks this week that they are not going to prosecute the RUC man known as ‘Officer B’.

The dead man’s family believe he could have been arrested at various stages on the day he was killed, suggesting that the killing was effectively a shoot-to-kill.

His mother Roisin Marks said all legal options will now be considered.

“We are very disappointed by today’s decision of the PPS,” she said.

“It was our view that the new forensic evidence should have justified a prosecution and we will now be considering all legal options available to us, including a review by the PPS.”

The family’s lawyer Gavin Booth, of Phoenix Law said “new forensic evidence suggested that Colum was shot in the back and that he could not have been posing a threat to Officer B”.

“Unfortunately, the PPS have today told the family that they cannot fully determine what happened in that field in Downpatrick on the night in question.

“They have informed the family that on the available evidence in relation to the wounds sustained by Colum the evidence is conflicting.”

Mr Booth said the Marks family “remain committed to finding out the full facts of what happened”.

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