No charges for Iris Robinson over cash for toyboy lover's cafe
Published 11/03/2011 | 16:37
Iris Robinson will not be prosecuted over business dealings involving her ex-lover, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.
The Public Prosecution Service has confirmed the disgraced former DUP MP will not face charges over her financial dealings with Kirk McCambley.
A criminal investigation had been launched after it emerged Mrs Robinson had secured £50,000 in loans from property developers to bankroll her then teenage lover’s riverside cafe business.
However, the PPS announced yesterday that after a “careful consideration” of evidence, the First Minister’s wife would not be prosecuted.
“Following a careful consideration, based on all available evidence, the decision has been taken not to prosecute,” a spokeswoman told this newspaper.
It is understood the Robinsons have been informed of the decision.
One party source last night described the news as “unsurprising”.
The PPS had spent several weeks examining a file sent by the PSNI following its inquiry, launched following a BBC Spotlight investigation.
The BBC probe revealed how Mrs Robinson, who was then an MP, MLA and a member of Castlereagh Borough Council, obtained two £25,000 contributions from property businessmen.
That money was then paid to Mr McCambley, then aged 19, to help him launch his Lock Keeper’s Inn cafe business.
Mrs Robinson (61) had become friendly with the teenager following the death of his father Billy McCambley, an East Belfast butcher.
Since then Mrs Robinson, who attempted suicide after admitting the affair to her husband, has been receiving medical treatment for depression and has withdrawn from public life.
The PSNI probe was launched within days of the Spotlight programme being aired.
At the time, a police spokesperson said: “The investigation will seek to establish whether any criminal offence has been committed by Iris Robinson, MP, MLA, and by any other person referred to in the programme.
“The Police Service is aware of the substantial public interest in this investigation.
“The police remit is to investigate potential criminality, nothing else,” the PSNI added at the time.
The probe was headed by Detective Chief Superintendent Roy McComb, who is head of the PSNI’s Organised Crime Branch.
His department specialises in complex financial investigations.
Last summer Mrs Robinson was interviewed by officers as part of the police investigation.
Mr McCambley also confirmed he had been questioned and released without charge.
At the time detectives were photographed taking boxes of papers from the offices of Castlereagh council, where Mrs Robinson was a long-serving member.
However, no evidence was found that Mrs Robinson had broken any law during the process leading to Mr McCambley winning the lease.
The PPS decision, confirmed yesterday, officially marks the end of the investigation.
Mrs Robinson has retired from public life, while Mr McCambley has since left Northern Ireland.