Belfast Telegraph

Son of murdered Lorraine McCausland prepares to sue police

Lorraine McCausland
Lorraine McCausland

By Alan Erwin

The son of a woman murdered in north Belfast more than 30 years ago is preparing to sue the police over an alleged failure to properly investigate the killing.

Lorraine McCausland, 23, was found beaten to death beside a stream in the Forthriver area in March 1987.

The mother-of-two had been last seen socialising in a nearby loyalist club at Tynedale.

Members of the Ulster Defence Association who controlled the drinking den are suspected of carrying out the attack.

With no-one ever convicted of the murder, concerns have been raised that her killer was a police informer working inside the UDA who may have been protected by the state.

Lawyers for the victim's son, Stuart McCausland, now intend to take legal action against the PSNI, as successor to the RUC.

The planned proceedings centre on allegations police knew those responsible for the murder and failed to carry out an adequate investigation.

Mr McCausland had to go to the High Court after the Legal Services Agency declined to fund the lawsuit.

But following a successful challenge to that decision, the agency is set to reconsider his application for legal aid.

Depending on the outcome of that fresh assessment, his lawyers confirmed their intention to commence legal action against the police.

Eoin Murphy of O'Muirigh Solicitors, expressed regret that the court intervention over funding was necessary.

He said: "There exist clear failings in the original RUC investigation into this case.

"These failings were presented to the Legal Services Agency to evidence the strength of proposed civil proceedings against the Chief Constable of the PSNI, as successor of the RUC.

"It was hoped that on foot of this application the Agency would have awarded funding to Mr McCausland to pursue his case through the High Court."

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