Belfast Telegraph

Murder investigation launched into missing Co Antrim man Mark Gourley

By Claire Cromie

A murder investigation has been launched by detectives searching for Carrickfergus man Mark Gourley, who went missing in 2009.

Once described in court as “a loyalist foot-soldier”, Mr Gourley (36) escaped jail in May 2005 after being captured on video as one of a crowd attacking an undercover policeman on the town’s Castlemara estate.

He disappeared in March 2009, when his mother Beryl made an impassioned appeal for information over his whereabouts, stressing that he was “vulnerable and required daily medication”.

A PSNI spokesman said on Monday that a murder investigation was now being launched as a result of fresh evidence.

Mark Gourley was one of four men who escaped jail  in 2005 after a crowd attacked the police officer, named ‘John’, who was posing as an ice cream salesman in an undercover investigation into a UDA extortion racket.

Mr Gourley was given 18 months probation, while the other three were handed suspended sentences, after a lawyer described them as “foot soldiers and not in the same league” as the UDA men involved in the racket.

He was last seen in the Glengormley area.

Following his disappearance his mother described him as “very friendly, from a close family, very fond of his girlfriend, and who loves his wee dog”.

Police will issue a fresh appeal for information on Tuesday.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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