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Pensioner offers life savings to catch her son’s killers

A grandmother whose son was hacked to death by a loyalist mob three years ago is offering up her life savings in a bid to catch his killers.

Pensioner Rosalie Christie (69) is putting up a £20,000 reward for information that leads to the conviction of her son Mark’s killers. The 36-year-old father-of-two was attacked after being chased through Bangor’s Kilcooley |estate on August 22, 2006.

He was in a house at Millisle Gardens when he was confronted by a number of people who chased him into nearby Owenroe Drive, where he was hacked to death by a gang brandishing an array of weapons, including a machete and screwdrivers.

Mr Christie was from the Whitehill area in the town.

He was well known to the police and was under threat from paramilitaries, who had ordered him to stay out of Kilcooley for alleged drug dealing.

His mother, whose husband died six months before her son was killed, has made an emotional appeal for information about her son’s death saying the past three years have been hell.

“I have heard all the stories about Mark and what he was supposed to be involved in, but nobody deserves to die the way he did,” she said.

Detective Chief Inspector Glenn Wright with Mrs Rosalie Christie, whose son Mark died three years ago ALAN LEWIScontinued from page 1

“When all is said and done, Mark was my son and the people who did this to him deserve to be put away. It hurts me to think they are walking about the streets and my son is buried,” Mrs Christie said.

“It has been a dreadful time. It does not feel like three years to me, it is like yesterday. Mark was my son and I have good memories of him.

“This £20,000 is my life savings. I lost my husband in February 2006 to cancer so it was our savings and I think it is worth every penny to try and get justice for my son’s murder.

“I believe there are people in Bangor who know who killed my son. I’m asking the good people of the Kilcooley area and others who know who was involved in Mark’s death to come forward.

“If it was their son, I would do it for them. I am asking people to help me. If they need to be persuaded, then I am offering them £20,000 for information which leads to the conviction of Mark’s killers. Please, please help me and my family to get out of this awful position of not knowing, not being able to move on and not getting justice for Mark.

“It won’t bring my son back but it could help somebody else. The way I look at it, these people are going to do it again. They are not going to stop with my son. If they murdered once they will murder again.”

Since Mr Christie’s murder in August 2006 police have carried out 68 searches and arrested nine people, but nobody has yet been charged.

The UDA has been blamed for Mr Christie's murder, however, the officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Glenn Wright, said he is currently not in the position to say which particular organisation was behind the attack.

He said police have insufficient evidence to bring any charges against the killers but that he hopes the reward will encourage people to come forward with information.

“As a police officer I am aware of Mark’s criminality and some of his activities and they may have been part of the motive for his murder but it certainly doesn’t detract from the barbaric death he was subjected to. The individuals who attacked Mark did so to satisfy their own selfish agenda and nothing else,” he said.

“Nothing could justify this cold-blooded and vicious killing. The community would be a much safer place if those responsible were behind bars. I would ask anyone with information to come forward.”

Anyone with information can contact detectives on 0845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Belfast Telegraph