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Sender of sympathy card to Paul McCauley may have 'vital information' on murder

By Amanda Ferguson

Published 17/06/2015

Paul McCauley was savagely beaten by a sectarian gang in 2006
Paul McCauley was savagely beaten by a sectarian gang in 2006

Police are keen to talk to the person who sent a sympathy card to the family of Paul McCauley which is said to contain "vital" information.

A team of more than 15 detectives began a murder inquiry on June 6 after the Londonderry man died, nearly nine years after he was left in a vegetative state following a vicious sectarian beating in the Waterside area.

Police said they have examined "vital" information contained in a sympathy card sent to Mr McCauley's father, Jim.

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey appealed to the person who wrote the card to get in touch.

"I would specifically like to ask one person, who wrote to Mr Jim McCauley expressing their sympathy and disgust at the attack on Paul, to please contact the detectives at Maydown, as I believe they hold vital information in relation to this investigation," the senior officer said.

Mr McCauley was just 29-years-old when he was beaten by a loyalist gang of up to 15 people after a barbecue with friends.

He was left in a persistent vegetative state until his death in a care home month.

Jim McCauley told BBC Radio Foyle the sympathy note was one of hundreds the family had received after his son's death.

"[It] is of interest because there is a feeling [from] this very kind letter that there may be further information from the individual that sent it," he said.

"There may be another facet to the investigation that this individual may be aware of.

"The letters are not anonymous but [this is] a request to that individual to maybe speak to Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey or come back to me or any member of the family, and hopefully we can make contact again."

So far, just one man has been convicted for the 2006 attack.

Daryl Proctor was sentenced to 12 years in prison but was released from jail in February of this year.

Last year PSNI chief constable George Hamilton apologised to Mr McCauley's family for more people not being brought to justice.

The BBC Spotlight investigation team featured the death of Paul McCauley on its programme last night

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