Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Man, 72, arrested over 1977 murder of policeman

A 72-year-old man was arrested today by officers investigating the murder of a policeman in Northern Ireland more than 30 years ago.

The suspect is being questioned about the killing of 49-year-old RUC Detective Sergeant Joe Campbell outside a police station in Cushendall, Co Antrim, in February 1977.

The arrest comes a week after officers from the Police Ombudsman's Office revealed they had unearthed a fresh lead in the case.

Ombudsman Al Hutchinson is re-examining the incident after complaints alleging police involvement in the shooting of the Roman Catholic married father of eight.

An RUC detective sergeant was arrested in the early 1980s and charged with the murder but was later acquitted at Belfast Crown Court.

Mr Hutchinson's team is also looking at claims that the RUC failed to investigate the crime properly.

Det Sgt Campbell was shot with a high velocity rifle as he locked the village police station at around 10.30pm on February 25 1977 .

He received one wound to the head and died almost immediately.

On the 32nd anniversary of the killing, investigators from the Ombudsman's office made a renewed appeal for information.

They were trying to find out why he was closing up the station even though he was off duty and wanted to know if he was planning to meet someone there.

It is believed the officer might have known he was about to be targeted as his behaviour apparently changed in the days leading up to his death.

A team from the Ombudsman's office set up a temporary base in Cushendall last week in the hope someone would come forward with new information.

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