Belfast Telegraph

RUC widow may face her husband's killer in court as he pleads for St Patrick's Day prison release

By Chris Kilpatrick

The widow of a murdered RUC officer could come face to face with his killer as she fights his bid to be freed from prison for St Patrick's Day.

Seamus Kearney issued High Court proceedings after failing to secure home leave to spend St Valentine's weekend with his partner.

He wants a judge to quash a Prison Service decision to impose an initial eight-hour limit on his periods outside jail.

His lawyers this week revealed he wants a 48-hour release next week to celebrate St Patrick's Day and to see the GAA club he supports take part in an All-Ireland final.

Kearney (58), of Gorteade Road, Maghera, was handed a minimum 20-year jail sentence in December 2013 for murdering John Proctor in September 1981.

The victim, a 25-year-old RUC Reserve Constable, was shot dead by the IRA minutes after going to see his wife June and newborn child Johnnie at the Mid Ulster Hospital in Magherafelt.

The application, to be considered in court tomorrow, was branded "sickening" by his victim's family.

Last night they were taking legal advice on whether they can appear in the court to make representations against Kearney's application.

They are being supported by the group, Innocent Victims United (IVU).

Kenny Donaldson, from IVU, told the Belfast Telegraph: "We understand Mr Proctor's widow June would have to apply as an interested party to the court.

"If that can't happen we want to know if she can be represented in proxy or if a statement can be presented to the court and read out.

"It's being handled by a solicitor at the moment.

"This is almost like putting down a marker for victims.

"Victims in these issues should have a direct way into the court system so they can engage on issues affecting them."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph