Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Partner of innocent loyalist feud victim speaks out for the first time

'I didn't want to let go of him. I knew it could be the last time I felt him in my arms'

This is the grieving Belfast woman who last night broke her year-long silence on the killing of an innocent loyalist feud victim.

This is the grieving Belfast woman who last night broke her year-long silence on the killing of an innocent loyalist feud victim.

Heartbroken Kathy Gibson (27) - whose boyfriend Craig McCausland was shot dead by a UVF gang on July 11, 2005 - opened her heart to Sunday Life to make a fresh appeal for information on the brutal murder.

Craig - who police have confirmed had no links to any paramilitary organisation - was staying at his girlfriend's home in Dhu Varren Park, north Belfast, when he was blasted in the neck and body by masked gunmen.

The killer pumped more than TEN bullets into the 20-year-old in front of his shocked girlfriend and her two children, Daniel (9) and Aslene (7).

The mum-of-two, who dived on top of her kids as the shots rang out, told how:

? Her kids still suffer from nightmares;

? She was forced to move home, and how she;

? Still suffers from depression and insomnia.

Said Kathy: "The last year or so has been a living nightmare and I just couldn't bring myself to speak about what happened the night Craig was murdered.

"But after lying awake one night I just decided that if I let people know what we have been through and what Craig's family have been through, then it might prompt someone to come forward.

"Craig was like a father to my children and they should not have to suffer from nightmares or wet the bed just because an evil person took the love of my life away from us.

"These people are still walking the streets and how do we know they won't take another innocent person's life?"

Recalling the night of the murder, Kathy added: "The night he was murdered, Craig was laughing and joking and we were talking about our future together.

"We had fallen asleep arm in arm and then suddenly I was woken up by a loud thudding at my front door. I sat up and my heart was beating so fast and I was shaking."

She said: "Three masked men entered my house that night and one of them ran up the stairs. I then heard three or four loud gun shots and Craig was lying on the landing.

"I went to get up, but one of them ran up the stairs again and I threw myself on top of the kids before hearing another five or six bangs.

"It all happened so fast. As I lay on top of the kids all I could smell was a burning (sulphur) and all I could see was the bright white flashes of the gun shots."

"The kids and I were screaming so loud, but the gunmen didn't care. There were even bullet holes in the kids' bedroom walls," she added.

"I sat next to Craig on the stairs and one of the kids brought me a T-shirt to stem the blood that was gushing from his neck. I held his head up so that he wouldn't choke as the blood was pouring out of his mouth. He was trying to breathe, but finding it hard.

"I kept kissing his head telling him he'd be fine. After the ambulance arrived, I didn't want to let go of him because I knew it could be the last time I felt him in my arms. When the doctors told us he had died it was terrible. I felt my world had ended.

"By reading my story, I just hope that people find it in their heart to come forward."

sbreen@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

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