Belfast Telegraph

Michael McGibbon murder: Appeal for men who ordered father to step out of house to come forward

Police mark murder anniversary with appeal for information

Police have made an appeal for two men who ordered Belfast father-of-four Michael McGibbon to step out of his house before he was murdered to contact detectives.

Police said the men, when met with a refusal at the 33-year-old's doorstep, said they would return before leaving. Others may have visited the house prior to the night he was killed and acted in a similar manner, the police officer leading the investigation has said.

“Easter is traditionally a time for families to spend time together and I would urge everyone to spare a thought for Michael’s family who have been deprived of a cherished husband and father," said Detective Chief Inspector Alan Dickson.

It was a particularly brutal and callous attack. DCI Alan Dickson

Michael McGibbon was shot in an alleyway at Butler Place in north Belfast around 10pm on April 15, 2016. The 33-year-old taxi driver, who was well known in his community, was taken to hospital but later died in the early hours of the next day. His wife Joanne was first on the scene and administered first aid to her dying husband.

Read more: Standing at spot where husband died in her arms Joanne McGibbon challenges dissident killers in new video

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Dickson said: “We continue to carry out a thorough and painstaking investigation into all of the circumstances surrounding Michael’s tragic murder. It was a particularly brutal and callous attack during which Michael was shot a number of times in the leg in an alleyway in a densely populated residential area."

He was a man with no criminal record, no apparent criminal connections or associations. police

The officer continued: "One year on, and the McGibbons are still coming to terms with their grief, pain and loss. They deserve to see his killers brought to justice and pay for their ruthless actions.

“There is nothing that can justify or explain the senselessness of this attack, which bears all the hallmarks of a paramilitary murder. He was a man with no criminal record, no apparent criminal connections or associations.

“Those who carried it out have no legitimacy in this community and today I would like to mark the first anniversary of Michael’s killing by appealing to local people to help us find them. Help us bring justice to the McGibbon family."

Read more: Joanne McGibbon: 'It was hard going on the holiday without Michael, but I wanted the kids to know it's OK to get on with life'

Police said Mr McGibbon was faced with intimidation in the days leading up to his death.

“I am appealing in particular about two males who called at the McGibbon home late in the evening of 14 April 2016. These men asked Mr McGibbon to step out of the house. When he refused, they stated that they would be back," said Mr Dickson.

“The first male is described as in his early 20s, slim and was wearing a red hooded top, baseball cap and had a scarf over his face. The second is described as in his late teens, wearing a grey hooded top, baseball cap and also had a scarf over his face.

“I am asking these men, or anyone who knows their identity, to get in touch with police. If there is an innocent explanation for your presence at the house on that night allow us to eliminate you from this enquiry.

“We are grateful for the support and information we have already received from the community, but there are people living locally who know exactly who was involved. They are protecting murderers and we need to hear from them.

“Please phone detectives on 101 with any information or you can phone the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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