Belfast Telegraph

Murdered Patrick's family offer £55,000 reward to find killer

By Donna Deeney

The family of man shot dead as he sat at his kitchen table have offered a £55,000 reward for information leading to his killers.

Patrick Devine, a 51-year-old sheep farmer and part-time nurse, was hit in the head and chest at his home near Claudy 10 years ago in what police believe was a contract killing carried out by paramilitaries.

Mr Devine's heartbroken mother Katie said she struggles to talk or even think about her eldest son's brutal death but felt she had to on the occasion of his 10th anniversary.

She added: "Although it has been 10 years since Patrick's death, it seems as though it was only yesterday.

"His killing has brought nothing but sadness and heartache to myself and the rest of the family.

"Personally, it takes a lot out of me to talk about his death. I would rather not mention it. However, you never forget, and the pain is never-ending.

"I often think about my son's final moments and why they had to kill him. My heart is forever broken. I find solace in prayer and am not angry against the people who took my eldest son from me because I know that, some day, they also will have to answer for what they have done.

"The family would make a direct appeal to any persons who have information to come forward and help us find the truth.

"We know it will never bring our beloved Patrick back to us, but it will at least bring some closure to know that the people who committed this terrible crime are being made accountable before the courts."

The family has offered a £50,000 reward – to which the Crimestoppers charity will add £5,000 – for information leading to the conviction of Patrick's killers.

The investigation is now being led by detective chief inspector Una Jennings.

She said: "It is the police view that Patrick was the victim of a contract killing carried out by an organised crime group with paramilitary links against a background of rumours of alleged sheep-stealing and land disputes, although Mr Devine had a clean criminal record.

"I am asking people to think about what happened to Patrick 10 years ago and the brutal circumstances of his death – shot several times in the head and chest as he was having a meal in his home.

"The individuals who did this are still at large. They are dangerous and ruthless.

"I would appeal to anyone who knows anything about Patrick's murder to come forward and talk to us."

Patrick's brother Aiden added: "I feel that I owe it to Patrick, and I know if it had been the other way around that he would have tried his best to get justice for me."

Factfile

Despite extensive police inquiries, including a BBC Crimewatch appeal in 2008, Patrick Devine's killer remains at large. Mr Devine was shot in the head and chest as he sat at the kitchen table of his farmhouse in the Sperrin Mountains. Five people were arrested during the investigation before being freed without charge. Patrick's family has now offered £55,000 to find his killer.

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