Belfast Telegraph

Drugs claim loyalist's son months after UVF man Campbell died of overdose

Graham Larsen with his mother Julie.
Graham Larsen with his mother Julie.
Graham’s father Mark Campbell, who died six months ago of an overdose

By Staff Reporter

The son of leading loyalist Mark 'Gutsy' Campbell has been found dead from a suspected drugs overdose - just months after his father died in similar circumstances.

Graham 'Speedy' Larsen from north Belfast became a father for the first time in August.

The 19-year-old's death comes just six months after his dad, who was implicated by a 'supergrass' in the sectarian murders of two Catholic workmen, was found dead from an overdose.

Friends and family of the teenager, who is father to five-month-old Joshua, posted tributes following his sudden death on Tuesday.

Many described the Belfast man as "one of a kind" and a "gentleman" who had a heart of gold.

A JustGiving website has been set up to help with the funeral costs and raised more than £1,000 in less than 24 hours.

The online organiser said they wanted to help Graham's family including his mother, Julie Larsen.

It said: "We would like people to come together at this sad time to help Julie, a single parent, who's had a lot of tragedies lately, losing her youngest son, Speedy.

"We want to raise money for his funeral costs. Many thanks to everyone that will help her during this devastating time for her and the family."

The teenager's dad, who was originally from Canning Place in north Belfast, had been living in Islandmagee in Co Antrim when he was found dead in April, after a fall-out with other loyalists in the Tigers Bay area.

Police at the time said no crime was suspected in the 46-year-old's death.

Campbell was one of two men charged with murdering Gary Convie and Eamon Fox in north Belfast in May 1994.

Mr Convie (24) and his 44-year-old workmate were gunned down as they sat eating lunch in a car at a building site in North Queen Street.

Mr Fox, from Maghery, Co Armagh, was married with six children.

Mr Convie, from Milltown, was a father-of-one. Campbell was charged along with James Smyth (50) on the basis of evidence provided by supergrass Gary Haggarty.

Haggarty has admitted to having the Sten sub-machine gun used in the attack.

Campbell was alleged to have driven the getaway van used to take the gunman from the scene.

Earlier this year the charges against Campbell and Smyth were withdrawn by the Public Prosecution Service.

The court was told the murder case could be delayed by up to two years due to the reliance on evidence from Haggarty.

A death notice in today's Belfast Telegraph states that Graham Larsen's funeral will take place tomorrow.

His funeral service will be at the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle while burial will take place at the Carnmoney Cemetery.

His mother Julie said in the death notice: "To my little Baby Bear. May God hold you in the palms of his hand and love you as much as you loved us. Love Mummy Bear."

Sympathy notices were also placed on behalf of his brother Dale and baby son Joshua.

DUP councillor Guy Spence called for Stormont to provide drugs "intervention" services in the lower north Belfast area.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Graham Cameron Larsen. Always knew him as Speedy. Lost for words," he posted on social media. "Our government seriously needs to prioritise and provide intervention in lower north Belfast. If you still won't listen to my words, please listen to those from grieving families and friends."

Earlier this year, the deceased's mother was accused of attempting to murder another son, who was left with severe head and facial injuries after being beaten with an iron bar as he slept.

Larsen (42) allegedly stood by and watched as her son Matthew Larsen (24), known as Matty, was beaten with an iron bar by a man on December 28. Larsen also allegedly cleaned up after the attack.

Police claimed in court in January that she had spoken of her son deserving the beating.

She was charged with attempted murder as part of a joint enterprise, perverting the course of justice, and causing grievous bodily harm to a woman who was also injured in the same attack. A police officer said that based on witness accounts, Larsen allegedly watched as her son was struck on the side of the head with a metal bar, causing his ear to explode.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph