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Full Hearings

Hearing: 22nd January 2009, day 101

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ROSEMARY NELSON

PUBLIC INQUIRY

 

 

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held at:
The Interpoint Centre
20-24 York Street
Belfast BT15 1AQ


on Thursday, 22 January 2009
commencing at 10.15 am


Day 101

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

1 Thursday, 22 January 2009

2 (10.15 am)

3 Housekeeping

4 THE CHAIRMAN: Before we start, there is a point of

5 housekeeping I want to refer to and perhaps those

6 members of counsel who are not here today could be told

7 by those that are.

8 The point of the housekeeping is this: I have been asked

9 to remind all counsel of the need to return document

10 pages as requested by the Inquiry Solicitor. It appears

11 that not all have been returned as quickly as they may

12 have been with the result that there is a considerable

13 number outstanding.

14 May I ask those concerned for their prompt attention

15 to this matter. I have no doubt the miscreants are not

16 here this morning, but if there are any miscreants here,

17 perhaps at lunchtime or earlier they could be returned,

18 and perhaps if you could pass the message to those who

19 turn up later today and tomorrow. Thank you.

20 Please take the oath, thank you.

21 MR IAN HUMPHREYS (sworn)

22 Questions by MR PHILLIPS

23 MR PHILLIPS: Can you give us your full names, please?

24 A. Ian William Alfred Humphreys.

25 Q. Thank you. I think it is right that you have made

 

 

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1 a statement to the Inquiry, and we can see it at

2 RNI-808-100 (displayed)?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. And do we see your signature at RNI-808-129 (displayed)

5 and the date of 28 October 2007?

6 A. You do, that's correct.

7 Q. What I would like to do, please, is to start at the

8 beginning of your statement and look briefly at your

9 career before your involvement in the Rosemary Nelson

10 murder investigation.

11 You tell us in paragraph 1 at RNI-808-100 that at

12 that point you had been with the police force for some

13 29 years. Is that correct?

14 A. That is correct.

15 Q. And as I understand it, the majority of that time you

16 had been working as an investigator?

17 A. Yes, that is correct.

18 Q. Had most of that time been spent with the Kent

19 Constabulary?

20 A. In fact, all of that time.

21 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the 1990s are concerned, you

22 explain that you became the Head of CID in Kent in about

23 1995. Is that correct?

24 A. Yes, that is correct.

25 Q. So far as your experience of murder investigations is

 

 

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1 concerned, can you outline that for us as it was

2 in March 1999?

3 A. Yes. Like many senior officers that progress through

4 the ranks, as I had become promoted and become more

5 experienced, I became -- I had more involvement in major

6 crime investigation, which of course included murders.

7 I was a senior investigating officer in my own right

8 at the rank of both detective chief inspector and

9 detective superintendent, during which time I led quite

10 a large number of murder investigations and serious

11 crime investigations. And then, as my role of Head of

12 CID Kent, I oversaw the day-to-day running of those

13 types of enquiries by my staff.

14 Q. So far as your further career is concerned, can we turn

15 to the next page, RNI-808-101 (displayed), and

16 paragraph 5? Here, you tell us that the following year,

17 2000, you were promoted to Assistant Chief Constable and

18 seconded to the Home Office, retiring in 2005 and, after

19 that, setting up the National Centre for Policing

20 Excellence. Can you just explain to us all what was,

21 please?

22 A. The latter?

23 Q. Yes, please.

24 A. At the time, the concept behind that was -- in fact it

25 is linked in some respects to the murder investigation

 

 

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1 manual. The service had not necessarily been good at

2 actually developing its own doctrine, good practice. It

3 had been rather piecemeal, and the philosophy was that

4 we would set up the first national police doctrine

5 capability, which in fact was my fundamental

6 responsibility as the deputy in the first case.

7 Developing that philosophy would be that the doctrine

8 would then inform training and good practice in the

9 workplace.

10 So that was the fundamental idea behind setting up

11 the National Centre for Policing Excellence, which has

12 now actually become part of the National Police

13 Improvement Agency.

14 Q. Thank you. Now, can I just ask you about documentation,

15 and what I'm talking about now is the documentation

16 which was generated at the time you were involved in the

17 murder investigation? And the first question I wanted

18 to ask you about concerns the handwritten notes which

19 the Inquiry has seen and which you mention at various

20 points in your statement.

21 Can I just, so that we are all clear about this, ask

22 you to look at the first set of them, and that begins at

23 RNI-837-034 (displayed)? Now, because we are using the

24 screen, it is very difficult to flick through them, but

25 is that your handwriting?

 

 

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1 A. Sadly, yes.

2 Q. Thank you very much. And that, as we can see on the

3 screen, contains reference to a meeting with Mr Kinkaid

4 on 18 March. So were these notes that you made at the

5 time?

6 A. Yes, either at the time or very closely after a meeting

7 that I may have been present at.

8 Q. Right. Then at a later point in our files we have

9 a transcription of these notes, and that begins at

10 RNI-837-049 (displayed). Is that a transcription which

11 you undertook or was that done by the Inquiry, do you

12 know?

13 A. It was done on my behalf by the Inquiry.

14 Q. Thank you. There is another set of notes which begins

15 at RNI-837-067 (displayed), and that also appears to be

16 in your handwriting. Is that right?

17 A. That is correct.

18 Q. And again, these have been transcribed and put into

19 chronological order, and that begins at RNI-837-116

20 (displayed).

21 Now, these various types of notes, would you have

22 been making notes in the course of meetings during your

23 time in the investigation?

24 A. Yes, either during the course of meetings or shortly

25 afterwards.

 

 

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1 Q. Right. What is the relationship between the handwritten

2 notes that you made at the time or shortly after these

3 meetings and the log which was created?

4 A. Yes. Well, I kept during the day, as did my colleague,

5 notes of any meetings or key points that we wanted to

6 record. I suppose you could call it a day book, for

7 want of another explanation. And during the course of

8 that day or at the end of the day, we would then reflect

9 upon the activities that we had overseen and we would

10 transpose those into what has now become known as the

11 Operation Cornwall log.

12 Q. Can I ask you to look at RNI-808-104 (displayed) where

13 you talk about the log? Do you see there at the bottom

14 of the page?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And there you refer again to the handwritten notes and

17 the various transcripts. So as I understand it then,

18 the log is the result of the notes created by both you

19 and DCI Gutsell, who went with you?

20 A. That is correct. It is a compilation, I guess.

21 Q. Can I just ask you, why did you put together a single

22 log in that way?

23 A. I suppose in all honesty it just appeared to be --

24 I felt that we needed to be accountable for our presence

25 there and it seemed to be a professional approach, to

 

 

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1 have something to call back on, both in terms for

2 ourselves, but of course we were there fundamentally

3 representing Sir David Phillips. He wasn't over here in

4 the Province all the time. He came over for a day or

5 two a week, and we were able to draw on that log to

6 explain to him what we had seen and what interactions we

7 may have had with the investigation team.

8 Q. And was the log something that was created as you went

9 along or was it all created at the end of your work in

10 Northern Ireland?

11 A. No, no, it was created on a daily basis; as I think

12 I may have said, either during the day or at the end of

13 the day.

14 Q. Thank you. And just finally on this, is the log, as it

15 were, a summary of more detailed records being made in

16 the notes or does it in fact reflect the detail of the

17 notes themselves?

18 A. I would hope that it reflects the main -- the main

19 things that appear in our notes.

20 Q. Thank you. Right. Now, can we turn to the substance?

21 And I want to you look with me, please, at paragraph 7

22 of your statement, which is at RNI-808-102 (displayed),

23 because that is where you explain how it was that you

24 came to be involved with this murder investigation.

25 Can I ask you this: when you were first contacted

 

 

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1 about it by Sir David Phillips, who was on holiday, as

2 you tell us, what did you understand your role to be?

3 A. Well, at that time I had heard about the murder of

4 Rosemary Nelson on the news actually, before I left for

5 work. I was informed by Mr Phillips that he had been

6 asked by Sir Ronnie Flanagan to come over and to

7 observe, if you like, from a position of independence,

8 the early stages of the investigation and to offer what

9 advice and support we could to the senior investigating

10 officer and his team.

11 In terms of that initial contact with Mr Phillips,

12 of course as he was on holiday, he explained he wouldn't

13 be able to get over to Belfast on that day. So he asked

14 me to go over with a colleague and make the initial

15 connection with the Inquiry team and to review what

16 enquiries they had made in the early stages of the

17 investigation.

18 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as your references to "the

19 colleague" is concerned, was it your decision to take

20 DCI Gutsell with you or was that Sir David's suggestion?

21 A. No, that was my decision.

22 Q. Why did you make that decision?

23 A. Because I anticipated at an early stage there would be

24 quite important issues surrounding intelligence. At

25 that time, Mr Gutsell was my deputy in the

 

 

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1 Special Branch in Kent and it appeared to me that with

2 his background he had the appropriate skills and

3 background to complement those skills and experience

4 that I had. So it seemed to me to be a good team to

5 take over in the early stages.

6 Q. Can I ask what made you think that intelligence was

7 likely to feature in the investigation?

8 A. Well, I suppose if I'm being honest, it was to an extent

9 intuitive at that stage. Obviously aware of the

10 situation as it was at that time in Northern Ireland,

11 that there were lots of issues around terrorism which

12 I knew the Special Branch would be involved in, and the

13 early indications were that it was possible that this

14 murder may have been inspired with a terrorist

15 background. So it was no more refined than that in

16 terms of my thinking.

17 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the dates of your involvement

18 are concerned, can I just try to clear up one point that

19 comes out of your statement?

20 In the paragraphs we already have on the screen,

21 what you set out for us was that you heard about the

22 murder, were contacted later that day, flew that day in

23 the afternoon and were at the scene late afternoon,

24 early evening; in other words, all of that on

25 15 March 1999, when Rosemary Nelson was murdered?

 

 

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1 A. That is correct.

2 Q. Well, the reason I ask you -- and I'm sorry to focus on

3 another detail -- is that if you look at the log --

4 RNI-837-002 (displayed) is a good place to start -- the

5 first entry that we have for you, which, as you see, is

6 followed through down the page, is in fact for the

7 next day?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Do you think it is possible that you went the day after

10 the murder?

11 A. No, I don't. I think the explanation for that may well

12 be that that's the day -- oh, I see what you mean.

13 Q. I should say that the notes we have in your

14 characteristic handwriting, but also transcribed, begin

15 on the 16th. So do you think it is possible that all

16 this, although very sudden and rushed, in fact took

17 place the next day?

18 A. That wouldn't have been my belief, so it is more likely

19 to have been an error, sadly, by me at the time.

20 Q. Okay. Whenever it was, what I wanted to ask you about

21 is an early meeting that you had, which you mention in

22 paragraph 13 of your statement at RNI-808-104

23 (displayed), the top of the page.

24 There was a telephone call you describe on your

25 return to Lurgan from the scene, from the

 

 

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1 Chief Constable and an arrangement was made that he

2 would come to see you at your hotel. Do you see that?

3 A. Yes, I do.

4 Q. And you give a brief description there of what he said

5 to you on his visit, which I think took place that

6 evening, didn't it?

7 A. It did, yes.

8 Q. Thank you. First of all, can I ask you, please, what

9 were his concerns, as far as you can remember them,

10 about the murder investigation?

11 A. Well, I think his concerns were more, if you like,

12 aligned to not so much the conduct of the investigation

13 but concerns round the political situation at the time,

14 concerns that there were suggestions of collusion

15 between the RUC and the security forces. And he was

16 also concerned that that could spill over to damage the

17 ongoing peace process, which was, if I recall, ongoing

18 at that time.

19 He did, as you can see from my statement,

20 particularly mention an earlier offence where another

21 solicitor who represented Republicans, Pat Finucane, had

22 been murdered, and that there may have been the

23 temptation by people -- the wish to make the connection

24 between the two. And I guess also, as can be seen from

25 my statement as well, there was the added complication

 

 

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1 about some complaints that Rosemary Nelson had made

2 against RUC officers which Commander Mulvihill of the

3 Metropolitan Police was investigating. And I think all

4 of that sort of, if you like, played into his concern

5 and that he felt that it would have been a prudent step

6 at that stage to invite someone independent of the RUC

7 to oversee those early stages of the investigation and

8 to try to satisfy those people that would wish to think

9 there were such issues, that they were being fairly

10 investigated.

11 Q. Thank you. I would like to return to that topic in

12 a minute, if I may, but can I just pick up a phrase that

13 you use here in your statement, in the paragraph we have

14 on the screen:

15 "He said that here was another so-called Republican

16 solicitor who was murdered."

17 Are those your words or his?

18 A. Well, I certainly wouldn't want to attribute them with

19 any degree of accuracy to Sir Ronnie, but they are my

20 words as they appear in the statement of course. As I

21 think I have said this morning, perhaps that maybe

22 replicates slightly clumsily. In fact, my understanding is

23 that both of those were solicitors that represented

24 Republican clients.

25 Q. Now, so far as Rosemary Nelson was concerned, do you

 

 

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1 remember whether Sir Ronnie gave you any background

2 information about her other than what you have set out

3 there in your statement?

4 A. No, I don't. I mean, as I say, it was as simple,

5 I believe, as here was a deceased -- was a solicitor

6 that did represent Republican clients, that had also

7 made complaints against RUC officers in the past. At

8 that time I wouldn't even have had any detail about what

9 those complaints were.

10 Q. Thank you. Did you remember whether he offered any

11 suggestion or views as to the likely motives of the

12 murderers?

13 A. I don't believe he did at that time.

14 Q. Thank you. Now, you mentioned the media and you

15 mentioned political implications, the potential

16 political implications of the murder. Is it right to

17 say that those aspects continued to be major features in

18 all of your dealings with this investigation?

19 A. They were certainly, I think, very much things that we

20 were aware of, and I think they certainly added

21 considerably to the pressures that Mr Kinkaid and his

22 team were under at the time.

23 Q. Thank you. Now, that's the topic I wanted to turn to

24 next. In paragraph 12 of your statement at RNI-808-103

25 (displayed), you set out very clearly your perception of

 

 

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1 the pressures that were bearing upon the SIO, upon

2 Mr Kinkaid. And it is right, isn't it, that your view

3 here is that those pressures were unparalleled, in your

4 experience?

5 A. They certainly were, and if I could just expand very

6 briefly on that?

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. I'm not too sure, for obvious reasons, that many people

9 understand the pressures that a senior investigating

10 officer is under in what I might call a routine

11 undetected murder enquiry. If you then add, in this

12 particular case, to all those political considerations

13 that we have touched upon already and then add something

14 which I don't think I can remember ever happening again,

15 where, for very good reasons, Sir Ronnie invited

16 Sir David to come over and oversee the investigation,

17 the SIO from Day 1 had myself and Mr Gutsell if not on

18 his shoulder, certainly near to and observing his

19 conduct of the investigation, and then a few days later,

20 to add to that, as a result of further dialogue that

21 Sir Ronnie had had with senior FBI officials,

22 representatives from the FBI came along and, if you

23 like, were superimposed upon the role that we were

24 carrying out as well.

25 So I don't think -- I used the -- or you used the

 

 

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1 term "unparalleled" -- I would almost say it is unique

2 and I'm not aware of such a set-up in my experience. So

3 the pressures were very, very considerable.

4 Q. Thank you. What I would like to do is to show you

5 a letter that you wrote on your return to England, to

6 Kent, at the end of your involvement in the

7 investigation, and that's at RNI-620-135 (displayed) and

8 it is a letter to Mr Kinkaid, obviously, 12 April 1999.

9 And it speaks for itself.

10 But here you are highlighting, aren't you, in the

11 second paragraph, your appreciation of the level of

12 pressure which was brought to bear upon him in this

13 particular case?

14 A. Yes, and I think I have also expressed the view that --

15 which I haven't already today, but this was also quite

16 difficult for myself, if I may be frank, and for

17 Mr Gutsell, because whilst we were happy to be there and

18 to add any value that we could and to represent

19 Sir David, we were always conscious of the fact that, if

20 you like, we didn't really want to get in the way of --

21 the most important thing was the proper conduct of that

22 investigation. And I felt it was right to record my

23 thanks to Mr Kinkaid for us developing the sort of

24 relationship which I think allowed him to get on

25 effectively running the investigation and for us to

 

 

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1 fulfil the role that we had been asked to fulfil.

2 Q. And we can see here your view at the time clearly was

3 that he was handling these pressures very well indeed?

4 A. That was my view, yes.

5 Q. Now, we will come back to that stage of matters later.

6 Can I take you back to the beginning of your involvement

7 in the investigation and ask you to give us your

8 impressions of the way in which the SIO was handling the

9 investigation, based on your early encounters and your

10 early discussions with him?

11 A. Are we still concentrating on Day 1?

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. Okay. Well, as is reflected in my statement, we arrived

14 as light was failing in Northern Ireland. We were

15 driven to Lurgan police station and almost immediately,

16 after introductions, I went -- with Mr Kinkaid,

17 I believe, but certainly went to the scene to review

18 what actions the RUC had taken in terms of the crime

19 scene. And I suppose we spent something in the region

20 of 20 minutes to half an hour there until the light

21 failed. And at that time, I was content that they had

22 done all that I would have required of such a scene and

23 I relayed that back to Mr Kinkaid.

24 I also had the opportunity during that day to speak

25 to the search adviser and we discussed what actions they

 

 

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1 had taken in terms of the searches at the scene and,

2 again, I was satisfied that these were being conducted

3 in a way that was professional and appropriate and I

4 think I may have made an observation about the use of a

5 metal detector because, if I remember, there was some

6 hedging there which may have revealed some bomb

7 fragments or some components of the bomb, and it was

8 agreed that that would be a step that they would take.

9 Then after a provisional discussion with Mr Kinkaid,

10 I was satisfied he was doing the sorts of things you

11 would expect a senior investigating officer to be doing

12 in those very early days, hours, golden hours, of an

13 investigation where, if you don't do the right things

14 you can miss some very important investigative

15 opportunities.

16 Q. And we can see at various points of your statement --

17 and I'm not going to take you to all of them -- that you

18 make comments which are complimentary and approving

19 about the way he was handling matters at various stages

20 during your three weeks or so in Northern Ireland.

21 Can I ask you to look particularly at one, and

22 that's at RNI-808-103, paragraph 11, because this picks

23 up a point that you yourself have referred to, which was

24 the way in which the senior investigating officer

25 reacted to your presence; in other words, to the fact

 

 

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1 that you and DCI Gutsell had, as it were, flown in to

2 keep an eye on him. How did you see that?

3 A. Well, really just to build upon what I have said, it is

4 to Mr Kinkaid's -- or was to his credit, I think, that

5 many other SIOs may have felt slightly threatened by

6 such an arrangement. But I think from the very early

7 stages he welcomed not only the independence that we

8 offered by us being present, but I think we struck up an

9 agreement that if he wanted to bounce ideas off of me or

10 there were things that I felt I could float with him

11 which he may wish to consider as part of his

12 investigative strategies, then he would do so. And

13 that's the way we built the relationship.

14 I should also add, I think -- and this is very

15 important -- at no stage did I feel -- and I don't think

16 did he feel -- that it was quite clearly understood that

17 he and his colleagues -- he was leading the

18 investigation, his colleagues were investigating it and

19 we were not there as part of the investigation team; we

20 were there in an observation role and in an advisory

21 role.

22 Q. On that point, you have stressed, as it were, the

23 limitation of your role. Can I ask you, what sort of

24 access did you have to the material which the

25 investigation team was generating?

 

 

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1 A. Well, let me deal firstly with -- we had unlimited

2 access to the staff, we had unlimited access to the

3 material that was provided to the incident room. Again,

4 that's, if you like, in keeping with Mr Kinkaid's

5 position in terms of how he welcomed us into the

6 enquiry.

7 In terms of other material, as time went on --

8 specifically intelligence material -- then clearly we

9 were made aware of that material but not necessarily in

10 the way that you might expect an SIO to have access to

11 that material. And I think I have said in my statement,

12 as far as intelligence was concerned, to a degree

13 I tasked Mr Gutsell to take the lead on that. So he had

14 much the dealings with intelligence officers from the

15 RUC.

16 Q. Thank you. Now, you mention that you had, as it were,

17 unlimited access to the other members of the team. Can

18 I show you another letter that you wrote on your return

19 to England? This is at RNI-621-002 (displayed).

20 Because here you were writing to express your

21 appreciation to the deputy, who is a ciphered witness in

22 the Inquiry, M540. Again, it speaks for itself, but it

23 looks as though the same comments that you have made to

24 us in relation to the way in which you were received and

25 the view you took of the way in which the work was being

 

 

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1 undertaken, as it were, applied to him as it did to

2 Mr Kinkaid. Is that a fair summary?

3 A. It is a fair summary.

4 Q. Thank you. Can I just ask you about the arrival of the

5 FBI officers or agents? Did you understand their role

6 to be similarly one of advising and observing?

7 A. I did, yes.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, Sir David told us in his evidence

9 yesterday that when he arrived in Northern Ireland --

10 and we know he arrived slightly after you, I think on

11 18 March -- it became clear that the expectations or the

12 hopes of people in Northern Ireland, perhaps including

13 Sir Ronnie, could not be met by him because of the

14 duties he had as Chief Constable in Kent. Was it clear

15 also to you from an early time that he was simply not

16 going to be able to fulfil the role that they had hoped

17 he would?

18 A. If you mean, sir, the expectation that he may actually

19 take over and lead the investigation --

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. -- then the answers to that is yes. Certainly from the

22 very first dialogue I had with Mr Phillips, he made it

23 quite clear that he didn't see that was his role or

24 would become his role, and I know that he made that view

25 to Sir Ronnie at an early stage as well. Moreover,

 

 

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1 I know that he took a very strong view -- and it was

2 a personal one -- that he had some doubts about whether

3 the appointment of a non-RUC officer to lead the

4 investigation was in fact in the best interest of

5 a successful outcome to the investigation.

6 Q. Now, that's a point you pick up specifically in

7 paragraph 27 of your statement. Can we look at that

8 together? RNI-808-108 (displayed). Now, as you

9 understood it, he had a clear view about that. Was it

10 a view that you shared?

11 A. Most definitely, yes.

12 Q. And can you explain to us why it was that you and

13 Sir David thought that to bring the lead investigator

14 into Northern Ireland from another force would not work?

15 A. Well, I'll try to.

16 Q. Thank you.

17 A. Setting aside the understandable anxieties around the

18 possible need to have someone that could be seen to be

19 independent of the RUC, if we set that to one side for

20 the moment, then speaking as a professional investigator

21 and the limited knowledge I had of the RUC, the issues

22 around the intelligence flows in the force, the issues

23 around, quite frankly, understanding the nature of the

24 political issues within Northern Ireland at that time,

25 all of those things in my view would have made it a very

 

 

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1 difficult job for anyone coming over from the mainland,

2 however competent an investigator they were, however

3 proven they were.

4 I think to have assimilated all of those issues at

5 a very important time, particularly early on in the

6 investigation, would have been very difficult and, in my

7 judgment, not necessarily in the best interests of the

8 investigation.

9 Q. And would you also have taken that view even if the

10 outsider had had the benefit of very experienced RUC

11 investigators working for him?

12 A. I believe I would, yes.

13 Q. Because presumably you would say that even that would

14 not meet the concerns that you have just outlined?

15 A. That's my view. I mean, I appreciate -- I appreciate

16 all the good reasons why ultimately it was decided to

17 appoint someone from outside of the RUC, and it would be

18 for that person to speak for themselves in terms of

19 whether they encountered the difficulties that I have

20 tried to explain this morning. But that was my opinion.

21 Whether it is right or not, I'm sure people may have

22 a contrary view, but that was certainly a view I held

23 and I know that Sir David did independently.

24 Q. Can I ask you about the last sentence which we have on

25 the screen? Some suggestion was being made at the time

 

 

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1 that this investigation should be completely independent

2 of the RUC. Can I take it from what you have said there

3 that you, like Sir David, regarded that as clearly an

4 untenable proposition?

5 A. I'm not sure if I would use the word "untenable", but I

6 think I would go back and say I don't think it would

7 have been in the best interest of the investigation.

8 Q. And, again, can you just briefly explain why you say

9 that?

10 A. Well, I think anyone that has been into another force,

11 for instance -- let's set aside the RUC for a moment.

12 I have at various times been involved in advising

13 colleagues in other forces, have gone in and reviewed

14 murders in other forces, and even if you go from one

15 force to another where there are adjoining boundaries,

16 some of the systems that exist within that force, some

17 of the working practices, some of the intelligence

18 flows, things like putting together an effective team

19 and being able to allot enquiries to individuals who

20 have got the requisite skills and experience, all of

21 those feature, in my view, in terms of running an

22 effective investigation. So that's difficult enough if

23 one goes into another force to investigate.

24 If you then transpose that into the RUC, which I

25 think was a fairly unique environment, particularly at

 

 

24

 

1 that time, and the intelligence flows that we have

2 discussed, the political situations, et cetera, I think

3 any steps to have brought in an entirely independent

4 investigation team would, frankly, in my humble opinion,

5 have been a flawed decision.

6 Q. Thank you. Can I just turn now to look with you at the

7 question of intelligence and specifically at the

8 question of access to intelligence?

9 There are various parts of the log that refer to

10 this and I would just like to show you one, really by

11 way of reminder, and this is at RNI-837-006 (displayed).

12 The bottom of the page is the section I'm interested in.

13 It is a note of a meeting you were present at, so was

14 DCI Gutsell, but also, you see, ACC B542, who was the

15 Head of Special Branch at this point, Sir David,

16 a representative of the FBI and then the Regional Head

17 of Special Branch, whose cipher, so that you are aware,

18 is B629.

19 Now, here we see a discussion about the monitoring

20 team being made privy, do you see, to all relevant SB

21 intelligence. Then just a few lines down:

22 "It was also agreed such intelligence should be made

23 available to the SIO."

24 I want to return to this structure in a minute, but

25 you say in your statement that Sir David made it clear

 

 

25

 

1 to Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the Chief Constable of the RUC,

2 from the outset that the resolution of the murder

3 investigation was intelligence-based and, therefore,

4 investigators had to have access to all intelligence.

5 Now, can I take it that this approach, this view,

6 was one that you held and expressed during the whole of

7 your time with the murder investigation?

8 A. It is certainly a view that I shared. In terms of it

9 being expressed, I think that was largely done from

10 Sir David and, quite appropriately, to the

11 Chief Constable of the RUC. Because recognising that

12 there were sensitivities about intelligence in this area

13 at that time, I think it was very important to stress

14 the importance of access to that type of intelligence.

15 Just by way of some slight deviation from what you

16 have articulated on behalf of Sir David, I think my view

17 about this was obviously access to the intelligence was

18 fundamentally important, as it would be in any

19 investigation. But it also plays into my view the

20 advice that we gave consistently, which was that one

21 should keep an open mind about the motives and who may

22 have been responsible for this particular offence. The

23 reason I make that clarification is if you were to take

24 that statement on its own, there may be some implied

25 suggestion that by concentrating solely on the

 

 

26

 

1 intelligence from an SB source, that the resolution, the

2 successful resolution of this enquiry would have been

3 entirely down to intelligence held by the SB.

4 In actual fact, you know, although perhaps less

5 likely, there may have been a perpetrator involved in

6 this that may not even have had any tentacles into SB

7 intelligence. Unlikely, but it could have just been

8 a member of the public that had a grudge against

9 Rosemary Nelson.

10 So all of those thoughts, all of those

11 possibilities, in my view, had to be explored.

12 Q. Thank you. We will come back to this point in a moment

13 because the theme of the need to keep an open mind is

14 one that you stress in your statement to the Inquiry, is

15 it not?

16 A. It is indeed.

17 Q. And can I take it that it was a theme that you and

18 Sir David stressed in your discussions and meetings with

19 the Murder Investigation Team at the time?

20 A. Repeatedly.

21 Q. Thank you very much. Just returning to the question of

22 access to intelligence, however, did you share

23 Sir David's view that a senior investigating officer in

24 a case of murder -- or in any case -- should have access

25 to all relevant intelligence?

 

 

27

 

1 A. Well, most certainly, yes.

2 Q. Was that, again, a view you would have expressed, if you

3 felt you needed to express it, to the officers involved

4 in this investigation?

5 A. Yes, I would have done. But as I think I have already

6 said, I think the point had been most forcefully made by

7 Sir David and I think on more than one occasion, and I

8 don't believe it was necessary for me to reinforce that.

9 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as Sir David's role is

10 concerned, we can see that this was a point that he

11 returned to at your, as it were, sign-off meeting or his

12 sign-off meeting at RNI-837-031 (displayed) on 7 April,

13 which is a meeting with Sir Ronnie Flanagan. By this

14 time, Mr Port had been appointed to take up the post of

15 officer in overall command, hadn't he?

16 A. He had, yes.

17 Q. So here we see Sir David recorded in your log as

18 reinforcing the need for Mr Port to be given total

19 access to all relevant intelligence. So, as it were, if

20 it was a theme at the outset, it was also a theme at the

21 end of the Kent officer's involvement with the

22 investigation?

23 A. It was, indeed.

24 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the passage of the log that

25 we were looking at is concerned, can I ask you some

 

 

28

 

1 questions about that and the issue of practicalities?

2 So can we go back, please, to RNI-837-006 and the

3 meeting on 18 March (displayed).

4 As I understand it, what the note records is

5 a discussion about how intelligence from SB was in fact

6 to be provided. Mr Gutsell was to be the liaison point

7 as between your team, the monitoring team, and

8 Special Branch. Is that correct?

9 A. That is correct.

10 Q. And if there was a disagreement or dispute between SB

11 and the Murder Investigation Team, and specifically the

12 SIO, it was to be referred by Mr Gutsell to Sir David

13 and then, as necessary, to Sir Ronnie. Is that right?

14 A. Yes, that's correct.

15 Q. Was this structure put in place because it was

16 recognised by those at the meeting that there might well

17 be occasions when Special Branch would resist a request

18 for access by the SIO to intelligence?

19 A. No, I don't believe that was the reason for it. I think

20 it was by way of some support and reassurance to

21 the SIO.

22 Q. Thank you. Were any objections raised in the meeting to

23 the proposal that was put forward?

24 A. None that I can recall.

25 Q. Was any concern expressed by the Special Branch officers

 

 

29

 

1 present as to the system that you were talking about?

2 A. Not that I can recall.

3 Q. And specifically in relation to the SIO having total

4 access to intelligence?

5 A. There was no indication that that would be an obstacle.

6 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the very limited period in

7 which you were in Northern Ireland after this was

8 concerned, and as far as you were aware, did the system,

9 the process that was outlined there, work in practice?

10 A. Well, certainly I was aware that intelligence was being

11 provided to the SIO from SB and other intelligence

12 sources within the force. I was not made aware by

13 Mr Kinkaid that he had any concerns at that time, that

14 he wasn't being given proper access to that

15 intelligence. He was -- or he did on a number of

16 occasions task SB and, in fact, his Force Intelligence

17 Bureau for intelligence requirements and that was an

18 ongoing process and that was still in place, to my

19 recollection, when I left the enquiry.

20 Q. In other words, he was seeking to gather intelligence

21 beyond SB, if I can put it that way?

22 A. Yes, and that's quite right. It is not, in my view, for

23 an investigator to be passive and just wait for

24 intelligence to come to you. It seems to me it has

25 always been a principle, the investigators should task

 

 

30

 

1 intelligence officers and intelligence sources.

2 Q. Now, in relation to DCI Gutsell, we have discussed

3 together the circumstances in which he came out with you

4 to Northern Ireland, Sir David suggested to us yesterday

5 that he regarded Mr Gutsell's presence as very important

6 because of the fact that he had Special Branch

7 experience in England.

8 Now, what I would like to look at with you, please,

9 is paragraph 16 of your statement at RNI-808-105

10 (displayed), where you discuss the different situation

11 and indeed the different role of Special Branch in

12 Northern Ireland. What were the principal differences

13 as you understood them?

14 A. Okay. Well, again, I think one needed to recognise that

15 at that time the issues that were being dealt with in

16 this particular area were wholly different than, for

17 instance, we may have been experiencing in Kent. The

18 role of Special Branch was, of course, fundamentally to

19 look at the security of the country, to look at

20 terrorist-type activity, to look at the protection of

21 the public in its totality, and I guess at that time it

22 was the magnitude of the tasks, the activity, that the

23 Special Branch in Northern Ireland were dealing with and

24 confronting.

25 When you compare it with -- I mean, as the Head of

 

 

31

 

1 CID in Kent, I had one of the biggest Special Branches

2 in the countries because our focus was entirely

3 different. You know, with the Channel port activity,

4 the type of terrorist activity that we may have been

5 targeting would have in the main been entirely different

6 to the focus over here in the RUC.

7 I suppose, because of that, the split -- what I

8 would call the traditional split between intelligence in

9 a force in the remainder of the country as opposed to

10 the RUC, would have been different. It seemed to me

11 from first impressions that the locus was a far stronger

12 locus of intelligence flowing through the SB in the RUC.

13 There were far more, of course, SB officers than there

14 would be in a mainland force, and then on top of that

15 you had military intelligence activity and Security

16 Service activity to the size, the magnitude that

17 probably outside of London -- well, not even in London,

18 but certainly in a force the size of my own, you just

19 would not have experienced. So it was an entirely

20 different intelligence environment.

21 Q. And can I take it from the way you put it in your

22 statement here, where you say in the third line:

23 "This became clearer and clearer during the time

24 I spent associated with the case," that the full range

25 and extent of differences was something that only, as it

 

 

32

 

1 were, dawned on you, only became apparent in the weeks

2 that you were there in Northern Ireland?

3 A. Yes, that's the case.

4 Q. Thank you. Now, can I just ask you some questions about

5 the murder investigation manual, which you tell us about

6 in paragraph 2 of your statement at RNI-808-100

7 (displayed)? You, I think, led the working group which

8 was responsible for the production of the manual, didn't

9 you?

10 A. I did.

11 Q. And as I understand it, that was at a time when

12 Sir David was chairing the ACPO Crime Committee?

13 A. He was.

14 Q. And so in a sense he was, as it were, at the top of all

15 of this and you were leading the project on the ground.

16 Is that right?

17 A. That's correct. In fact I actually wrote the manual.

18 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as that was concerned, do you

19 think it was for that reason that Sir David wanted you

20 to go out to assist in the murder investigation in

21 Northern Ireland?

22 A. I'm not sure that it was just because I wrote the murder

23 manual because I think, as his Head of CID with the

24 experience I had, that also contributed to his decision

25 that probably in his mind I may have been the most

 

 

33

 

1 appropriate person to represent him at that time.

2 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as the manual is concerned, in

3 very short summary would it be right to say that it

4 brought together best practice and that the aim of the

5 document was to put in a single place, as it were, the

6 experience of the forces, I think particularly in

7 England and Wales, so that in one place you had

8 a statement of best practice?

9 A. It was that, and what we tried to do in addition was to

10 introduce -- and I use the word, probably

11 ill-advisedly -- some science into the art of major

12 crime investigation.

13 We developed a model which was there to assist SIOs

14 in their thought processes in murder investigation, so

15 that it became, if you like -- what we tried to do is to

16 systemise murder investigation in a way that would be

17 clearly understood by all officers involved in that type

18 of investigation.

19 Q. Now, you set out some comments on this in paragraph 4 of

20 your statement at RNI-808-101 (displayed), and the first

21 point you make there is it was not prescriptive.

22 Sir David yesterday I think used the word "mandatory",

23 but was more guidance only?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. But then immediately after that you say, of course:

 

 

34

 

1 "If an investigation followed the guidance in the

2 manual, one could be confident that it was conducted to

3 a high standard."

4 A. That was our view, yes.

5 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Can I just on that, Mr Phillips, make

6 it clear, Mr Humphreys, the murder investigation manual

7 wasn't a Kent project, it was a national project and

8 bought into by all forces through the ACPO process?

9 A. Yes. I'm happy to clarify that point, sir. It was, as

10 my statement said, commissioned by the ACPO Crime

11 Committee. Therefore, before it was adopted, it had to

12 be endorsed both by ACPO Crime Committee and I believe

13 by the broader ACPO Council in due course. One --

14 I suppose one of the satisfying things about it was that

15 the manual was very readily and quickly endorsed by --

16 not only by chief constables, but by operational senior

17 investigating officers throughout the country.

18 So it did have that national buy-in and it certainly

19 was not a Kent project. And in fact, the inside cover

20 of the manual when it was produced actually recognised

21 the contributions that had been made by a host of

22 officers throughout the country.

23 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you very much. Thank you.

24 MR PHILLIPS: Thank you. So far as the extent to which the

25 manual was adopted is concerned, you mention in this

 

 

35

 

1 paragraph that it was adopted by the Scottish police

2 forces as well as the England and Wales constabularies,

3 and you say:

4 "... but was also adopted by the RUC."

5 On that topic, can I just ask you: at the time you

6 went to Northern Ireland for this murder investigation,

7 was it your understanding that the RUC had adopted the

8 murder manual?

9 A. I think we need to clarify what "adopted" means in this

10 context.

11 What I can say is that by the time we got towards

12 the end of 1998, the document had been agreed and signed

13 off by ACPO, there had been a period of delay while we

14 had the documents both printed -- and my recollection,

15 as best as it is, is that they were circulated in early

16 1999.

17 Now, what I don't know is the degree of penetration

18 that that document had achieved either in the RUC or in

19 fact any other force in the country, and I think it is

20 also important to outline that this was -- you know,

21 this was a start of a journey, if you like, in terms of

22 an early doctrine of murder investigation. At that

23 time, it is important to recognise that that document,

24 even if it had been circulated in forces, had landed on

25 the desk of officers that were charged with murder

 

 

36

 

1 investigation. But at that time there was no training

2 to reinforce it.

3 Over a period of time, what we did nationally was

4 actually to take that document and actually import it

5 into the training of senior investigating officers.

6 So it clearly was very much a guidance document. It

7 was, if you like, something that an SIO could read,

8 could pick up, could refer to. So in terms of to what

9 degree it had penetrated the RUC, I'm not entirely sure.

10 I think one other caveat I would like just to add to

11 that, if I may, is perchance anyone was under the

12 misapprehension that they were there to adjudge this

13 investigation against the murder investigation manual,

14 that certainly was not our role.

15 Q. Thank you. The suggestion that has been made is that

16 the murder manual wasn't adopted -- and I appreciate

17 you'll perhaps think that isn't necessarily a helpful

18 word -- until after your involvement in the

19 investigation. In fact, a suggestion put to the Inquiry

20 is it may not have been until April 2001. Are you able

21 to help us with that?

22 A. Well, no, if that's the position of the RUC at that

23 time, then I would need to accept that that was the

24 case, and would not be surprised for the reasons that

25 I have just shared with the Inquiry.

 

 

37

 

1 Q. Now, so far as Northern Ireland is concerned, as you

2 observe in your statement and you have already touched

3 on some of the differences in relation to

4 Special Branch, the policing environment there was very

5 different from the one that you were used to in the Kent

6 Constabulary, wasn't it?

7 A. Indeed.

8 Q. Can you highlight for us the principal differences based

9 on your experience with this investigation?

10 A. Well, from a community perspective, I suppose, I would

11 say that at that time, policing in the mainland was far

12 more community-based. There was certainly a perceived

13 closer partnership between policing and the community.

14 Levels of cooperation that you would routinely expect on

15 the mainland weren't necessarily apparent in the way

16 that I would have expected to see in the mainland.

17 There were clearly the political divides, both in

18 a political sense and in a community sense as well. And

19 I think the other important difference was I think the

20 relationship between police forces and their communities

21 in the mainland was far more, if you like, cooperative

22 and probably trusting than I sensed that that was the

23 case at the time that I was observing this

24 investigation.

25 Q. Now, so far as those differences are concerned, the

 

 

38

 

1 suggestion the Inquiry has heard is that they led to

2 ACPO guidance being adopted for use in Northern Ireland

3 by a process which some have referred to as

4 Ulsterisation; not very elegant, but that's the term.

5 Now, is that a process with which you were familiar

6 at the time?

7 A. No, not familiar, not surprised. In fact, by way of

8 comparison, what I was more aware of is colleagues in

9 Scotland used the term "tartanising" --

10 Q. Not much better.

11 A. -- the murder investigation manual.

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. So I think it is legitimate, going back to the point

14 that it was a guidance document, that in subtle ways

15 actually it was adopted in forces but was incorporated

16 into the working practices and policies of that

17 individual force. So I suspect in a less spectacular

18 sense, that was a process through the publication of the

19 document that was going on in police forces in the

20 mainland as well.

21 Q. And as far as you were concerned, was the guidance in

22 the manual expressed in the way that allowed for that

23 flexibility of application?

24 A. I would have hoped so.

25 Q. Yes. And as far as you were concerned, did it apply to

 

 

39

 

1 murder investigations of all kinds?

2 A. Yes, indeed. And moreover, when we trialled the

3 document, we also made it clear that in many respects

4 you could apply the model and the methodology to major

5 crime investigation.

6 Q. In other words, not just murders?

7 A. Not just murders.

8 Q. Now, so far as the core elements of a murder

9 investigation are concerned, there is an important

10 section of your statement at paragraph 21, which I would

11 like to look at with you now, please, at RNI-808-106

12 (displayed). It continues in paragraph 22, which takes

13 us over the page. But, again, just to be clear about

14 this, can I take it that as far as you were concerned,

15 these three core elements are core elements whatever

16 type of murder you are investigating?

17 A. Yes, indeed, and this was -- again, this is not just my

18 view. I'm going back to the fact this was a compilation

19 of best practice.

20 What we did in this respect is, in the manual, to

21 introduce the concept of crime scene assessment, and

22 within that were those three core elements of

23 recognising the associations between the location where

24 a crime is committed, the victim and the offender and,

25 in fact, we added to that the scene forensics and the

 

 

40

 

1 post mortem forensics for the model within the murder

2 manual.

3 It invites the investigator to recognise that the

4 potential links there -- and recognise that they may

5 very much be contributory to actually fashioning your

6 lines of enquiry for the investigation.

7 Q. So to look at this particular investigation with those

8 remarks in mind, in your view does this approach, the three

9 core element approach, lend itself to the investigation

10 of a terrorist murder?

11 A. I see no reason why not, but also recognise that there

12 are some other challenging dimensions to

13 a terrorist-type murder.

14 Q. One specific question here: was the first edition of the

15 manual -- the edition, I assume, that you told us you

16 wrote -- written with terrorist offences in mind?

17 A. Not specifically; with murder investigation and major

18 and serious crime investigation in mind.

19 Q. Did the working group draw on any experience and

20 expertise in the anti-terrorist field?

21 A. Yes, we did. If I recall, there was a chief

22 superintendent from the Metropolitan Police who was at

23 that time an experienced anti-terrorist investigator,

24 who we used as one of our critical readers and who had

25 input into the document. And at no time did he indicate

 

 

41

 

1 that there would be any conflict in what we were

2 producing in the manual with a terrorist-type

3 investigation.

4 Q. Thank you. Now, in terms of differences on the ground,

5 if I can put it that way -- and, again, we have touched

6 on the general policing context -- but can I ask you

7 this: what are the principal differences, as far as you

8 were concerned, between the investigation of -- I'm

9 going to call it a conventional murder committed in

10 England and a terrorist murder committed in

11 Northern Ireland?

12 A. Well, I'm not actually sure I'm the best person to ask

13 that question, purely on the basis of my experiences in

14 investigating terrorist murders or being involved are

15 limited to this particular enquiry.

16 Q. Indeed.

17 A. Indeed, in fairness we did have the Deal bombing in

18 Kent, which pre-dated this particular case. But it is

19 a course -- if you like, the activities, the mindset of

20 the perpetrators, the motives of the perpetrators, are

21 in the main likely to be different; politically

22 motivated with a small p, I guess. And that's not

23 likely to be the case in -- you used the term "more

24 routine" murder investigations because the motives

25 behind the offence are likely to be uniquely different.

 

 

42

 

1 Q. Thank you. Now, can I just ask you a couple of specific

2 questions about the murder manual?

3 There are references to it specifically in your

4 handwritten notes, and at RNI-837-075 (displayed) we

5 have an example where I interpret your handwriting,

6 about 20 lines down at the end of a section of

7 handwriting under "Analytical ability", it says "murder

8 manual", doesn't it?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And what I wanted to ask you specifically is whether

11 a copy of the manual was brought over to

12 Northern Ireland. Can you remember?

13 A. I believe it was, but for some reason I do not have

14 a clear recollection of that.

15 Q. And do you think that it is possible that it was brought

16 over because it wasn't yet in use in Northern Ireland?

17 A. Well, that would seem to be entirely possible, yes.

18 Q. Now, so far as your introduction to the team, the Murder

19 Investigation Team, is concerned, you tell us at

20 paragraph 11 of your statement, RNI-808-103 (displayed),

21 that you were introduced on your arrival as the author

22 of the manual and that the SIO explained to his team

23 that you were there to offer advice and assistance.

24 So whatever Sir David had in mind in choosing you,

25 it seems that Mr Kinkaid was well aware of the work that

 

 

43

 

1 you had done?

2 A. That would -- that certainly was the case, yes.

3 Q. Yes. And can I take it from what you have been telling

4 us that where you gave advice and guidance in the

5 limited time you were there, you were drawing on the

6 very principles of guidance that you had set up and

7 written in your manual?

8 A. Both that and my own experience, of course.

9 Q. Yes. And in particular -- I'll just take you to an

10 example, if I may, which will have to suffice for all of

11 the examples, RNI-830-007 (displayed) at the bottom of

12 the page. You talked earlier in your answer to the

13 introduction of the term "crime scene assessment" and

14 there we have an example, don't we, of you giving advice

15 based on that?

16 A. Indeed.

17 Q. Thank you very much. And so far as the manual

18 represented best practice, was it your experience that

19 the points you were making, the principles you were

20 getting across to Mr Kinkaid and his colleagues, were

21 already familiar to them?

22 A. Well, certainly I think I can best answer that by my

23 dealings with Mr Kinkaid, and certainly his approach to

24 leading that enquiry, the way he set it out, was

25 consistent with those best practices that we had

 

 

44

 

1 referred to, whether or not indeed he had read the

2 manual or any of his colleagues had. And I suppose in

3 part you could say it reinforced the fact that what we

4 have reflected in the murder manual at that time was

5 a fairly good representation of a standard approach to

6 murder investigation.

7 MR PHILLIPS: Yes. Sir, would that be a convenient moment?

8 THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly. Ten to. We are having a quarter

9 of an hour break, Mr Humphreys.

10 (11.34 am)

11 (Short break)

12 (11.53 am)

13 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Phillips?

14 MR PHILLIPS: Now, I would like to turn to just a few

15 questions about your experience of the investigation

16 itself, and first I would like to confirm with you the

17 limited extent to which you were involved.

18 We have seen you arrived either on 15 or possibly

19 16 March 1999. I don't know to take you to the passage,

20 but it looks as though the last entry is on 8 April.

21 Does that sound about right?

22 A. Yes, it does.

23 Q. So you were there about three weeks, and you tell us

24 right at the end of your statement in paragraph 96,

25 which is at RNI-808-129 (displayed), that having

 

 

45

 

1 completed your time in Northern Ireland, you had minimal

2 contact with the Colin Port investigation team?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. Thank you. So really what we are looking at is an

5 experience in Northern Ireland lasting about three

6 weeks?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, the first topic I would like to ask you

9 about is the early intelligence which was received,

10 which you refer to in your statement. And by that,

11 I mean intelligence suggesting who may have been

12 involved in the murder and who may have constructed or

13 made the device. And those named in the intelligence --

14 and obviously we are not using names in the Inquiry --

15 were all Loyalist terrorists, weren't they?

16 A. That was my understanding, yes.

17 Q. Can I ask you, in relation to your knowledge of this

18 intelligence, to look with me at RNI-808-122, please,

19 which is paragraph 72 (displayed)? Here, where you are

20 talking about a handover meeting on 7 April, the one I

21 think we have looked at before, you say in the fourth

22 line:

23 "There was reference to specific intelligence in

24 relation to bomb makers and persons suspected of being

25 responsible for planting the device."

 

 

46

 

1 Can I just ask you this question: how was that

2 intelligence, if I can use this word, disseminated

3 to you?

4 A. My recollection is that it would have been through

5 Mr Kinkaid.

6 Q. In a briefing from Mr Kinkaid?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Did you get any impression from him as to how confident

9 he was in the soundness or validity of that

10 intelligence?

11 A. Not specifically, but if I could just make a comment

12 about that?

13 Q. Yes.

14 A. Clearly there are various levels of suspicion, and in

15 terms of intelligence, you know, there are, if you

16 like -- on a continuum there are various levels of

17 intelligence in terms of the likelihood of their

18 reliability or not. So whilst the term "suspected" may

19 be used in that log, clearly at that stage what I was

20 aware of is that the intelligence wasn't strong enough

21 or reliable enough to enable Mr Kinkaid at that time to

22 go out and make arrests. What the source of that

23 intelligence was, what the reliability of it was are

24 issues that I don't believe at that time I was aware of.

25 Q. Thank you. Now, can I just look with you at another

 

 

47

 

1 reference in the log to this question of intelligence?

2 And here we have a note of a meeting on -- I think it is

3 25 March at RNI-837-018 (displayed). This, I should

4 say, to give you its context, is just a single page of

5 a number of pages of notes of a meeting on the 25th,

6 where Sir David Phillips is giving various views, at

7 this stage in the meeting.

8 The relevant part is at B. It refers to an

9 intelligence meeting the next day, and there is

10 a reference to what the SIO might be doing at that

11 meeting at A, and then:

12 "The SIO to establish:

13 "how much intelligence exists.

14 "the validity and scope."

15 And with that in mind, can I just ask you this: in

16 general terms, what would you have expected to be done

17 by way of validating intelligence such as this once it

18 had been received?

19 A. Well, there are a number of steps that could be taken.

20 The first one, though, however, would be try to

21 establish exactly what the source was. It could be

22 a human source, it could be a police source, it could

23 have, in this context, come from a military source or

24 some other intelligence source. And if it were a human

25 source, then there are issues about the status of that

 

 

48

 

1 person in terms of them having previously given

2 information, how reliable it is likely to be, whether

3 they have been unreliable before, how close they may be

4 to the people -- person or persons they are giving

5 intelligence about.

6 So there is a whole range of things. Whether there

7 is any other intelligence to validate and support that

8 particular intelligence. In addition, of course, it

9 could have come -- or intelligence can come from other

10 means. It can come from a technical source. It can, on

11 occasions, come from an open source that others may have

12 had access to. And of course, it could be as weak as

13 a rumour that was circulating around a particular

14 environment; hence my comment earlier on about that

15 being a continuum in terms of reliability and how you

16 actually validate that reliability.

17 Q. Thank you. Can I ask you to look at paragraph 55,

18 RNI-808-118 (displayed) because there you set out in

19 your statement the various steps which you would expect

20 to be undertaken in this process, and that is very much,

21 as I understood it, what you were just saying to us in

22 your answer; is that correct?

23 A. Yes, I've probably expanded on it a little bit today.

24 Q. Yes. Looking at the next paragraph, please, 56, you are

25 in fact commenting upon the meeting -- I think the

 

 

49

 

1 meeting we have just looked at, or the note of it -- and

2 you say it was discussed at the meeting, and then you

3 say:

4 "At the date we left Northern Ireland, there was

5 still talk of conducting covert operations as an option,

6 but the important thing that we had been stressing was

7 to keep an open mind and for options to be kept open."

8 This is a point you have already made but we see

9 there an example, don't we, of the theme that you and

10 Sir David return to, of the need to keep an open mind in

11 the investigation?

12 A. That's very important in my mind in any investigation,

13 but we felt it was particularly important in this case,

14 given that the circumstances would immediately lead you

15 to a particular hypothesis, in this case in terms of who

16 may have been responsible. And whilst that may have

17 been a sound assessment, we felt it very important to

18 not close down any avenues which may be fruitful lines

19 of enquiry. Sometimes you have to go down those lines

20 to actually eliminate them as possibilities.

21 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Can I just ask you this: at the time

22 that this advice was given, was there any sense that

23 this was a cautionary note, that you sensed in any way

24 that the investigation was in danger of going down

25 a single path?

 

 

50

 

1 A. I think the answer to that, sir, is not cautionary in

2 the sense that we thought it might go down that path,

3 but certainly realised from the very beginning, and at

4 the time that we were leaving, that there was always

5 a danger that that could be a path that an SIO could go

6 down.

7 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you.

8 A. Indeed, just to add to that, I'm not sure what the case

9 was in this particular investigation, but where this

10 becomes more difficult for SIOs is of course as

11 investigations go on, the amount of resource that

12 a chief officer is able to actually dedicate to

13 a particular enquiry can become less. And that also

14 tests the resolve of the SIO in terms of what are his

15 major lines of enquiry. And sometimes, if you don't

16 constantly ask yourself the question, "Are there other

17 lines that we ought to be pursuing?" there is a danger

18 that you could go down that path. And I think that was

19 the context that we were trying to give that advice at

20 the time we were leaving the enquiry.

21 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you very much.

22 MR PHILLIPS: Thank you. Can I ask you to look at two other

23 passages of your statement which may relate to this

24 issue, the first at paragraph 49, RNI-808-116

25 (displayed), because here, where you are referring to

 

 

51

 

1 intelligence coming into the investigation, you say:

2 "As an SIO, I think I would wish under such

3 circumstances to check the accuracy and reliability of

4 sources providing any information and would raise

5 actions towards achieving this."

6 Can I ask you: do you think that is advice that you

7 gave to the SIO in this particular investigation?

8 A. In all honesty, I can't remember.

9 Q. No, but can I take it that if the topic had come up in

10 discussion, that would have been your line to him?

11 A. Most certainly, yes.

12 Q. Now finally on this at 72, the paragraph we began with,

13 can I ask you to look at the end of that paragraph,

14 RNI-808-122 (displayed)? Here, when you are talking

15 about the end of the time you spent in Northern Ireland,

16 and you are referring again to part of the log, you say

17 that you emphasised again the need to keep on

18 reassessing current intelligence and recording in the

19 policy file why an immediate arrest plan was not to be

20 undertaken.

21 So here, the two points you made earlier come

22 together, don't they, that at that stage, the stage you

23 left, as far as you were aware, the decision has been

24 taken not to proceed to arrest and you put it in the

25 specific context of the state of the intelligence?

 

 

52

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Thank you. Now, can I ask you some questions about

3 theories and the difference between them and hypotheses,

4 because this you tell us about in paragraph 19 of your

5 statement at RNI-808-106 (displayed), and perhaps the

6 best thing to do, if you don't mind, is to just explain

7 in your own words what the difference is?

8 A. Yes. And I need to stress this is very much my own view

9 of the world.

10 Q. Indeed.

11 A. I guess what I'm trying to say in that paragraph is if

12 you sit around a team and talk about any offence --

13 let's stick with murder for the moment -- it is healthy

14 to promote discussion about what might have happened, to

15 visualise the scene, to think what might have taken

16 place, to try to visualise what the offender's motives

17 were, et cetera, et cetera. As a result of which that

18 may come up with a number of theories that come from

19 a number of people. They may come from -- the SIO

20 themselves may have a number of theories. But actually

21 there is not much rigour to a process like that because

22 otherwise you can go off chasing shadows, so to speak.

23 I'm trying to make the distinction between that and

24 a theory, if you like, that firms up because there is

25 some fact, some evidence or maybe intelligence which

 

 

53

 

1 actually leads you to say, "Actually, this is more than

2 a flight of fancy, there is good reason to believe that

3 this is a line of enquiry that we should pursue", and

4 therefore, you know, the hypothesis is that A met B and

5 stabbed B, et cetera, et cetera, something like that.

6 The term, rightly or wrongly, was one that we

7 introduced in the murder manual and was one that didn't

8 seem to cause too much offence in the investigative

9 community. Whether we -- with the benefit of hindsight,

10 whether we ever properly made the distinction between

11 hypothesis and theory, I think is a fair point.

12 Q. And can I ask you specifically about the comment you

13 make here about logging --

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. -- hypotheses? Why, in your view, was it so important

16 to do that?

17 A. I believe that it is important when you actually convert

18 that to lines of -- use the term hypothesis or lines of

19 enquiry, major lines of enquiry. The reason I think it

20 is important, is (a) it gives some rigour to the SIO and

21 the enquiry in terms of how you are using your resources

22 and what lines of enquiry you are following. It gives

23 some accountability, if you like, to the SIO and the

24 investigation. But we always make the point in

25 discussing this with SIOs that it is actually equally

 

 

54

 

1 important to actually follow lines of enquiry which may,

2 if you like, negate previous hypotheses and, therefore,

3 close that line down because that's very important to

4 demonstrate at a later time from an accountability point

5 of view; that you have actually considered that

6 particular prospect and have actually investigated it.

7 Q. Thank you. Now, on that topic, can I take you now to

8 paragraph 33 of your statement and if we could have

9 RNI-808-110 and 111 on the screen, please (displayed)?

10 Now, here you are commenting on the notes of

11 a meeting at the outset of Sir David's first visit to

12 Northern Ireland, and the passage I'm interested in is

13 the one we looked at a little while ago about the crime

14 scene assessment, if you remember that phrase from the

15 manual.

16 "The point that was being made here to the SIO", you

17 say, "was again the need to keep an open mind and to

18 reprioritise as the enquiry developed. Both

19 Chief Constable David Phillips and I said repeatedly to

20 the SIO throughout our involvement there was a constant

21 need to reassess theories, to develop hypotheses and

22 lines of enquiry that would either disprove or prove

23 those hypotheses."

24 So that, in a sense, is the point you have just been

25 making, isn't it?

 

 

55

 

1 A. Indeed.

2 Q. Can I just ask you, why was it that you and Sir David

3 felt the need repeatedly to give this advice to the SIO?

4 A. Well, firstly this was advice I would give to any SIO.

5 Q. Indeed.

6 A. If I were asked to advise them on an investigation. And

7 I think in part I may have covered this earlier on in my

8 answers, which is there was always the danger in this

9 particular enquiry, given the nature of the device that

10 had been used under Rosemary Nelson's car, that it would

11 lead you down one path of enquiry. And whilst that was

12 certainly a legitimate path of enquiry, we felt it

13 equally important that other lines of enquiry were kept

14 live and open and weren't closed down.

15 Q. Is it fair to say that this was part of your broad theme

16 of the need for the senior investigating officer to keep

17 an open mind?

18 A. Indeed, and it is the sort of advice I would have given

19 to my own SIOs in Kent as well.

20 Q. Yes. Can I ask you about the review process in the

21 context of investigations? Does that have a role to

22 play in the business of, as it were, challenging

23 assumptions, making people reconsider their priorities?

24 A. Yes, indeed. It was ACPO policy at that time -- or

25 guidance, should I say, rather than policy, that forces'

 

 

56

 

1 chief officers were encouraged to go over the heads of

2 CID that in the case of an investigation whereby it

3 hadn't been detected -- it depended -- I think the

4 guidance was 14 days, but it would be applied between

5 about 14 days and 28 days that the SIO -- that someone

6 would be appointed with an investigative background,

7 probably another SIO, to come in and review the progress

8 of that investigation, importantly to make sure that no

9 obvious lines of enquiry had been missed.

10 Now, this was becoming standard practice throughout

11 the country and actually was recognised by most SIOs as

12 a very important and useful support to their

13 investigations where it is a longer running

14 investigation.

15 Q. In the guidance that you gave, did you suggest that

16 there should be further reviews or was it limited to the

17 14 to 28 day --

18 A. Yes, the advice would therefore -- periodically you

19 could commission further reviews. In some cases that

20 would be by the same reviewing officers; in other cases,

21 it might be prudent to bring in another reviewer.

22 Q. Yes. Now, can I just at this point ask you a question

23 about the problems which the team was encountering

24 during the limited period you were there? You have

25 helpfully set out some points about the general

 

 

57

 

1 situation in Northern Ireland and particular

2 difficulties with investigating terrorist crime,

3 et cetera. But what can you remember of particular

4 difficulties that they were having to address and deal

5 with in those first three weeks?

6 A. Okay, the two that immediately come to mind are,

7 firstly, there were some difficulties for the officers

8 conducting house-to-house enquiries out in the

9 community, whereby the officers involved -- there was

10 some unrest, whether missiles were being thrown at them

11 or -- certainly the community were making it very

12 difficult for officers to conduct their house-to-house

13 enquiries. As a result, I believe that Mr Kinkaid

14 withdrew from that activity.

15 There was some activity on a community basis trying

16 to actually speak to some of the community -- I use the

17 word "leaders", but to try to reassure the community the

18 reasons why this was necessary. And at a later date

19 that was recommenced, and I seem to remember as

20 a back-up there may have been some uniformed shield

21 teams there were available.

22 That's quite unusual, certainly in my own

23 experience, but to be fair to Mr Kinkaid, that didn't

24 stop them carrying through that line of enquiry.

25 The other one which was difficult for them was

 

 

58

 

1 establishing a dialogue with the Rosemary Nelson family,

2 and that was still a problem when we left the

3 investigation.

4 Q. We will return to that topic in the context of

5 victimology in a moment. Thank you very much.

6 Can I just ask you then about specific areas of

7 enquiry at the time you were there? The first in

8 relation to the forensic work on the device itself.

9 Now, in your statement you describe going to the

10 laboratory and meeting the forensic scientist,

11 Dr Murray. We can see that in paragraphs 30 and 31 at

12 RNI-808-109 to RNI-808-110. If we could have both those

13 pages on the screen, that would be excellent

14 (displayed). Thank you.

15 You tell us about the views that he expressed, as

16 far as you recall them, in paragraph 31 in particular.

17 But right at the outset of this part of your statement

18 you say, in the third line of paragraph 30:

19 "I think this was probably the first example during

20 our involvement in this case where we needed to stress

21 the importance of keeping an open mind."

22 Now, why was that, please?

23 A. Right. I think it just picks up on the theme that we

24 have developed during the morning, which was Dr Murray's

25 view, and a view based upon previous cases that he has

 

 

59

 

1 dealt with, was that this device had, if you like,

2 a signature which would suggest it may have been the

3 work of a single bomb maker or someone that had been

4 taught how to make a bomb by that person and that it had

5 a particular political implication in terms of the group

6 that may have been responsible for it.

7 As I have said in my statement, an experienced SIO

8 will certainly value the views of expert witnesses,

9 whether they be scientists or whether they be

10 pathologists, but should actually pursue that advice

11 with some rigour and actually test it. I think history

12 is littered with examples where experts have given

13 opinions which have later not been found to be correct.

14 So, if you like, I think you expose it to the

15 investigative process.

16 Q. And that presumably is what you are getting at when you

17 say in your paragraph 31:

18 "My view was, therefore, that whilst Dr Murray's

19 views may well hold some validity, it was essential to

20 keep an open mind and not to commit all the eggs to one

21 basket"?

22 A. Correct.

23 Q. Now, can I just ask you, in relation to the views that

24 he was expressing, they are recorded in the log at one

25 point as having been expressed with a high degree of

 

 

60

 

1 confidence. Does that accord with your recollection?

2 A. Indeed, it does.

3 Q. And so you say in paragraph 32 at the start, you don't

4 recall him actually being dogmatic but he was clearly

5 pretty convinced himself?

6 A. That was his view, yes.

7 Q. Yes. And during the limited time you were there, can

8 I take it that you were concerned to ensure and to

9 advise the SIO that that shouldn't be taken as, as it

10 were, the end of the matter, but to continue to test, to

11 challenge, to probe that advice during the course of the

12 investigation?

13 A. Absolutely.

14 Q. Thank you. Can I just ask you some questions about the

15 origin of the device, again appreciating the limited

16 time you were there. But during the time you were

17 there, was there a question mark raised in relation to

18 the capabilities of the suspected Loyalist organisation

19 to undertake, to produce a device of this kind and to

20 undertake an attack involving such a device?

21 A. There was certainly discussions of that nature, yes.

22 Q. Yes. In your statement at paragraph 48, for example,

23 you talk about what you would have done -- RNI-808-116

24 (displayed) -- to look at intelligence in relation to

25 the LVF's modus operandi. Was that with that sort of

 

 

61

 

1 question in mind?

2 A. Yes, it was.

3 Q. As far as you were concerned, again in the limited time

4 you were there, were you content that the SIO had, as it

5 were, heard your advice and was following it in relation

6 to the testing of the forensic scientist's opinion?

7 A. I had no reason to suspect that that wouldn't be his

8 mindset.

9 Q. Thank you. Now, so far as your statement is concerned,

10 you come back to this in paragraph 88 at RNI-808-127

11 (displayed), and in particular here you are referring

12 to, I should say, a passage of your handwritten notes --

13 I'm not going to go to them at this point -- but do you

14 see a few lines down you refer to the question of

15 Dr Murray's confidence in the signature of the bomb

16 maker, i.e. that this was the work of a particular

17 individual? That was the way he was putting it, was it?

18 A. It was, yes.

19 Q. Thank you. You then say two lines down:

20 "Our message was to keep this under constant review

21 as we were very cautious as to Dr Murray's assertions."

22 That puts your approach in a slightly stronger way.

23 Were you sceptical?

24 A. No, in fairness what I ought to clarify is that we

25 certainly respected Dr Murray's opinion. The caution

 

 

62

 

1 was that that we discussed here this morning, which is

2 whilst respecting his professional scientific view, that

3 it should continue to be challenged and that the SIO

4 should continue to consider other options.

5 Q. In terms of his professional view and, indeed, his

6 experience, I mean, this was a laboratory, the

7 laboratory he worked for, which, as Sir David said

8 yesterday, had a probably unique level of experience in

9 this area in the whole of the United Kingdom?

10 A. Absolutely.

11 Q. Yes. Now, can we see how this fed through after you had

12 been to the laboratory into the meeting that took place

13 with Sir David on 18 March. The relevant passage is at

14 the top of RNI-837-008 (displayed), and it is in this

15 note that we see the expression "the high degree of

16 confidence" attributed to the forensic scientist. It

17 looks there as though what Sir David was saying was this

18 observation should provide the main focus for the

19 enquiry. In other words, at this point, as I understand

20 it, your suggestion was this was their best line but

21 there are good reasons, however, to work to exclude

22 other possible motives. So does that take us back to

23 the point you made earlier?

24 A. Yes, and in fairness to the enquiry team at the time,

25 they didn't -- in terms of hard, tangible fact or

 

 

63

 

1 intelligence, this was probably one of their best

2 options in terms of pursuing that as a line of enquiry,

3 at this time.

4 Q. Thank you. Can I just ask you to look a little bit

5 further down the page at paragraph 5? Can we have that

6 enlarged, please? It says:

7 "Stress the priority of establishing a media

8 position to deal with the allegation of collusion. We

9 suggested exposing the linked nature of the forensic

10 evidence and seeking responses ..."

11 And then moving on to another point about a car. So

12 was the idea that you might use the forensic opinion in

13 the media as a way of rebutting the claims of collusion?

14 A. That was certainly explored. It was -- whilst it does

15 say "we suggested ..." to be fair in this case this was

16 a suggestion that Sir David made and it was part of a

17 broad discussion with the SIO about what media

18 opportunities there may have been at that time.

19 Q. Yes. And it looks, following this through to the end

20 there, where there is a couple of lines in bold, as

21 though the SIO's response was to say that he wanted to

22 do further research. Was that along the forensic

23 similar devices line?

24 A. Yes, it was and I think it actually does highlight the

25 fact that, you know, the SIO was most certainly at the

 

 

64

 

1 helm and leading this investigation, notwithstanding the

2 advice that we were offering him.

3 Q. Yes. Now, in relation to the question of other motives,

4 which you remember we saw at the top of this page, again

5 you have already touched on this in your evidence, but

6 there are various references in the notes to questions

7 being raised as to non-terrorist sources or

8 non-terrorist origins of the device. That was something

9 that you opened up to discussion. Is that right?

10 A. That is correct.

11 Q. And what was the response to those sorts of ideas that

12 you put out in these meetings?

13 A. Well, they certainly weren't rejected and I think the

14 SIO recognised the importance of looking at those

15 particular other options that may have been available.

16 Q. Thank you. Now, can I just turn to the question of the

17 claim of responsibility now? You deal with this in

18 paragraphs 78 and 79 of your statement, here at

19 RNI-808-124 and 125 (displayed). At the end of the

20 first of those pages, you say:

21 "My recollection of the Red Hand Defenders was that

22 they were described as a splinter group from another

23 paramilitary group and there were concerns as to whether

24 it was a permanent group or a label of convenience."

25 A. Yes.

 

 

65

 

1 Q. Now, can I ask you this: was there a discussion which

2 you were part of, at any time, in which the claim of

3 responsibility was questioned?

4 A. Certainly I seem to remember that -- I mean, the

5 briefing that the Special Branch had given about this

6 particular group did suggest that there may have been

7 members of another paramilitary group which used it as

8 a badge of convenience, and I think that actually set

9 into the mind of the SIO and the team that that may very

10 well be the case and that any names that were offered up

11 as potential suspects needed to be considered in that

12 context.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, can I just move to the question of

14 victimology? This you deal with in your statement at

15 various points, but there is a particular passage of

16 introduction at paragraph 23 which I would like to look

17 at with you, please. It is at RNI-808-107 (displayed).

18 Can I just ask you: why, in your view, is

19 victimology such an important line of enquiry in

20 a murder investigation?

21 A. Okay. Well, the first thing is to actually go back to

22 a point I made about crime scene assessment.

23 Victimology is a strain of crime scene assessment. The

24 other thing is the term "victimology", I think I ought

25 to say was one that we again introduced through the

 

 

66

 

1 murder manual. So whilst we were using the term, it may

2 or may not have been familiar to the SIO and others.

3 But it is none the same the case that actually if

4 you look at the history of murder investigation, if you

5 examine the associations, the lifestyle of a victim,

6 then very often that can be both a very fruitful line of

7 enquiry and it can provide important links between the

8 victim and the offender. So I couldn't envisage

9 personally running a murder investigation where that

10 wasn't an important strand of the investigation.

11 Whether or not in this case it was appropriate to

12 record it as a major line of enquiry in the SIO's policy

13 was a matter of his discretion, but what I was content

14 with is that he recognised the importance of it, and

15 there had been a number of actions raised within the

16 murder investigation room to pursue victimology lines of

17 enquiry.

18 Q. Thank you. Now, in the log it records Sir David talking

19 about the desirability of a fuller victimology in

20 a meeting with the SIO and him pointing out the

21 immediate difficulties, but agreeing in principle. What

22 were the immediate difficulties, as you understood it?

23 A. Well, the obvious one was the difficulty that the SIO

24 was having in establishing a dialogue with Mrs Nelson's

25 family and close associates.

 

 

67

 

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. But the point that is made in my statement and was made

3 also, was whilst that was frustrating for the

4 investigative team, it was no reason not to pursue it

5 with vigour. And there were many other opportunities

6 and strands of victimology that you could pursue without

7 the family, examples of which might have been client

8 base or other associates which rested outside of the

9 family, may have been examples which may have led to

10 some fruitful lines of enquiry.

11 Q. And as I understand it, where you say in the fourth

12 line:

13 "I cannot imagine that there would be circumstances

14 that would warrant not undertaking a proper

15 investigation of victimology in a murder," we are to

16 take from that that you saw no reason in this case not

17 to undertake a proper investigation of victimology?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. Thank you. And when you say later on in the same

20 paragraph in the statement that this was something that

21 you raised throughout your time -- I think there may be

22 an error there in your statement. It says:

23 "I raised throughout my period of the need ..."

24 But as I understand it, you are saying while you

25 were there, you raised throughout your time the need to

 

 

68

 

1 do this, that presumably indicates (a) the importance of

2 it in your view, and (b) that you felt there was a need

3 to return to the point?

4 A. Yes, I did. And I mean, as frustrating as it was for

5 the SIO not being able to have direct dialogue with

6 close family, I suppose what I was trying to encourage

7 is that needed to be pursued again with some vigour and

8 not to be deterred, because whilst I have already said

9 there were other dimensions of the victimology enquiries

10 which could have been carried out, it was important to

11 keep returning -- I mean, dialogue with the immediate

12 family is important, not only for the purposes of the

13 investigation but also in most cases trying to build up

14 a relationship between the SIO and the deceased's

15 immediate family, to give them some confidence about the

16 conduct of the investigation, if that were possible.

17 Q. Thank you. As far as you were aware, at the time you

18 left the investigation, 7/8 April 1999, was the issue of

19 victimology still being pursued by the SIO?

20 A. As far as I was concerned, it was very firmly on their

21 radar still.

22 Q. Indeed. Can I ask you this question about practice and

23 the policy file: if a decision not to pursue victimology

24 any further had been made, would you have expected that

25 to be recorded in the policy file?

 

 

69

 

1 A. Certainly that's an option. I think it would be

2 a matter of individual discretion of the SIO. I think

3 in this case, were I to have been the SIO, I think

4 I might have wanted to at least flag up the difficulties

5 I had had in establishing a dialogue with the family,

6 what we had tried to do to overcome that and probably to

7 reinforce the fact that that was my desire. And I would

8 want to continue to revisit that during the course of

9 the investigation.

10 Q. As and when the circumstances improved?

11 A. Yes, but I stress that would be the way I would deal

12 with it. It would be for individual SIOs to decide how

13 they would wish to address it.

14 Q. So your approach would have, as it were, recorded an

15 explanation of the difficulties, of the problems, that

16 had made it impossible at that point to take it any

17 further?

18 A. My personal approach would have been that, yes.

19 Q. Yes.

20 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Just on that, Mr Humphreys, can I say

21 of course any murder investigation is subject to

22 a review regime, reviewing officers would expect to see

23 decisions such as that justified in a policy log,

24 wouldn't they?

25 A. I think they would have looked to, yes, sir.

 

 

70

 

1 MR PHILLIPS: Can I ask you about a specific aspect of

2 victimology now, and it is one you deal with in your

3 statement at paragraph 28, RNI-808-112 (displayed)?

4 You had, it appears, heard a rumour of the alleged

5 relationship between Colin Duffy and Rosemary Nelson.

6 Can I ask you, please, how did you come to hear of it?

7 A. I really can't remember. It was certainly some

8 information that was shared with me by a member of the

9 investigation team.

10 Q. But you can't remember any more detail than that?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Thank you. And from your perspective, in terms of

13 giving advice to the SIO, what was the significance of

14 that information?

15 A. Well, obviously in victimology terms, it would have been

16 a line of enquiry that I would have wished to pursue.

17 I mean, this is a rumour in terms of the status it had

18 during the time I was associated with the investigation.

19 Clearly, if I could take any steps to establish, you

20 know, whether it were a malicious rumour or whether

21 there was some fact to substantiate it, if there was

22 some fact to substantiate it, then clearly it would have

23 been prudent to pursue whether or not that individual

24 may have or could have been responsible for the offence

25 or had some motive for committing the offence.

 

 

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1 Q. Thank you. Can I ask you a question about a specific

2 comment you make in this connection at the bottom of

3 this page and in paragraph 39? You say there:

4 "At this early stage, it would however have been

5 potentially dangerous to pursue such rumours as a firm

6 hypothesis."

7 Is that just another way of setting out for us what

8 you have just observed?

9 A. Well, yes. And I think I would just add one other thing

10 to that. To return to the difficulty the SIO was having

11 in establishing dialogue with the family, at that time,

12 whilst I would have wanted to pursue the rumour

13 dimension, you can imagine how that might have been

14 interpreted by the family, if the SIO were to pursue

15 that as a main line of enquiry without having sort of

16 had some dialogue with the family. That, to me, would

17 have been the priority if that were possible.

18 Q. Was there any concern about the potential political

19 implications of, as it were, looking outside the

20 Loyalist terrorist community, as far as you were aware?

21 A. None that I was aware of.

22 Q. Thank you. Now, in terms of the comment you make at the

23 bottom of this page, the page we have on the screen,

24 "The SIO should however," was that advice that you gave

25 to the SIO, as far as you can recall?

 

 

72

 

1 A. I believe it was, yes.

2 Q. Thank you. Now, can I just ask you a question, picking

3 up something in an answer you gave me just a little

4 while ago? I would ask you to look, please, at

5 RNI-837-005, another passage in the log (displayed).

6 This is a note of a meeting on 17 March and it is the

7 first reference in the log to the major lines of

8 enquiry.

9 You tell us in your statement about this meeting and

10 about, as it were, the first stages of the investigation

11 as far as you observed them. Now, in terms of the list

12 of points here, the major lines are four and then you

13 are recorded as suggesting three more.

14 Now, the point that you made in your answer, I

15 think, was a suggestion earlier that the SIO might not

16 use the term "victimology". Do you think that is an

17 explanation for why it doesn't feature in either the

18 first four or in your three suggestions?

19 A. I don't think the term "victimology" would have

20 deterred, or has a significance that it doesn't appear

21 in those lines of enquiry. This was very early on in

22 the investigation. The SIO had to make decisions about

23 how best he were to use his resources. We know that he

24 had started to pursue the line of victimology

25 specifically in terms of the immediate family. We knew

 

 

73

 

1 that they were going to make some enquiries or had made

2 some enquiries at her place of work. So -- and they

3 were actions within the investigation, and I think there

4 needs to be a distinction between at a strategic level

5 what the major lines of enquiry were, given the

6 resources available, and what is known and what

7 resources were available.

8 So those were the -- what he considered to be and

9 which I added to -- the strategic, major lines of

10 enquiry. Things like the enquiries with the family and

11 the solicitors were actions and it may be at that time

12 that was an appropriate use of resources and they were

13 the best major lines of enquiry.

14 Q. Thank you. And we can see, can't we, in fact, recorded

15 under "Discussion" at the bottom of this note, that

16 investigating the threats, the clients, discussion with

17 the husband and with Nuala McCann, who worked in her

18 office, about the letters, presumably you would have

19 included those sorts of enquiries within the general

20 heading of victimology?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Thank you. So it may be, as it were, more a matter of

23 record, of semantics, because as far as you were

24 concerned, the relevant enquiries at this stage were

25 being pursued?

 

 

74

 

1 A. Absolutely.

2 Q. Thank you. Picking up on this, at a later stage, at 019

3 in the file, RNI-837-019 (displayed) -- this is when the

4 Chief Constable, your Chief Constable, was present on

5 25 March -- we have looked at the note before -- there

6 is another list of lines about a week later.

7 In your statement you address this, where again

8 there is no specific reference to victimology because

9 you explain to us that in your mind this was routine and

10 ongoing and was already being charted. So we are not to

11 draw anything from the absence of a specific reference

12 to it in this note. Is that fair?

13 A. It is fair. I certainly wouldn't draw an adverse view

14 about that, no.

15 Q. Thank you.

16 Now, can I just ask you finally on the question of

17 collusion, just looking back at the lines of enquiry we

18 began to look at, in other words, on 17 March, number 4,

19 you see, at RNI-837-005 (displayed), was to:

20 "Investigate any claims or incidents in respect of

21 Nelson's death whereby collusion is alleged or

22 suspected."

23 So that, as it were, from the moment you were first

24 involved with the investigation was a major line of

25 enquiry for the SIO?

 

 

75

 

1 A. It was certainly that, and a major consideration and one

2 of the earliest things that Mr Kinkaid highlighted to me

3 about one of the challenges for him in respect of

4 leading this investigation.

5 Q. Can I just ask you about a specific reference? I think

6 it is in the notes, but I am afraid I do not have

7 a reference to it. But it comes up in this context of

8 collusion. One of the things that we know happened at

9 a very early stage was that those RUC officers who had

10 been involved in the Mulvihill investigation were

11 removed from the murder investigation. You remember

12 that?

13 A. I do indeed.

14 Q. And there seems to be some contest between who might

15 have been responsible for that idea. Are you able to

16 help us with that, whose suggestion it was that officers

17 should be removed?

18 A. Only in so much that that was something that Mr Kinkaid

19 discussed with me. Whether that was prompted by his own

20 actions or whether it had been suggested to him by

21 somebody else, I'm not able to comment.

22 Q. There is a reference, in fact by complete coincidence,

23 at the top of the page here on the screen to his wish to

24 remove those officers. Do you see?

25 A. Yes, I do.

 

 

76

 

1 Q. So it is obviously something that whoever first had the

2 idea, he was keen to put into action?

3 A. Absolutely, yes.

4 Q. Now, in that context, there is, as I was saying,

5 somewhere in the notes a reference in relation to these

6 officers to the word "elimination" or "eliminate". I'm

7 sorry I can't show you the passage of the notes because

8 I am afraid I haven't found my own reference to it, but

9 in that context would elimination be the process of TIE;

10 in other words, trace, investigate, eliminate; yes? In

11 other words, that part of the investigation of collusion

12 was to consider each and every one of those who had been

13 allegedly involved in the making threats in the context

14 of the Mulvihill investigation and not only remove them

15 from the investigation, but also make sure that you went

16 through the formal process of TIE so that they were

17 eliminated as possible suspects?

18 A. That wasn't a discussion I had with the SIO. The

19 discussion I had was specifically removing those persons

20 that were subject to the Mulvihill Inquiry away from the

21 investigation.

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. We certainly didn't have discussion as to whether in due

24 course they would go through the process that you have

25 described in terms of -- well, we wouldn't need to trace

 

 

77

 

1 them, but to interview them and eliminate them.

2 Q. Yes. Now, finally, in paragraph 60 of your statement at

3 RNI-808-199 (displayed), you say in relation to these

4 lines of enquiry that we have been looking at that --

5 and this is at the stage of the meeting, the second

6 meeting, 25 March, we were looking at:

7 "I was generally happy at this stage that the lines

8 of enquiry were comprehensive. They weren't narrowing

9 them down too much and I would have said so if I had

10 felt that they were."

11 So, so far as you were concerned, they were, as it

12 were, on the right track and if you had thought that

13 they were getting too narrow in their approach, you

14 would have said so. But you didn't have, as I

15 understand it, occasion to do so?

16 A. No, and/or I would have highlighted that, of course, to

17 Mr Phillips and I didn't feel there was that necessity.

18 And neither did Mr Phillips or I have discussion which

19 suggested that we were concerned that those enquiries

20 were too narrow.

21 Q. Thank you. That is the end of my questions, but as you

22 may have gathered at the end of witnesses' evidence,

23 I offer them an opportunity to add to their evidence if

24 there is something that we haven't covered and if there

25 is something that you wish to say to the Panel. Is

 

 

78

 

1 there anything that you would like to add?

2 A. No, there isn't, sir.

3 Questions by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN

4 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Just one point from me, Mr Humphreys, if

5 I may, if you could assist my understanding. The term

6 "officer in overall command", on the mainland, as I

7 understand it, that's a term used where you have, for

8 example, murders in two forces areas, similar MOs,

9 possibly linked, and it is a way of making sure that the

10 enquiries are coordinated by appointing an ACPO officer

11 who in fact oversees the SIOs in those two forces?

12 A. That's exactly my understanding.

13 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: In terms of the appointment of Mr Port,

14 whilst not wishing to put too much importance on

15 a title, from your understanding was it made absolutely

16 clear as to what Mr Port's role would be when he

17 arrived?

18 A. Well, I think in the time that he was coming in to the

19 enquiry, he was still having discussions with

20 Sir Ronnie Flanagan as to exactly what his terms of

21 reference would be.

22 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: What was your understanding of his

23 role? That he would in fact become the SIO?

24 A. I think that was my understanding, and certainly I think

25 that was the external perception.

 

 

79

 

1 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Was there in the mind of Mr Kinkaid,

2 who, of course, you were still liaising with at that

3 time -- was there any confusion there or was he quite

4 clear that Mr Port was to take overall charge?

5 A. I didn't specifically have that discussion with

6 Mr Kinkaid, but I certainly observed that once Mr Port

7 arrived, he very readily started to report to Mr Port.

8 So I felt that's how the relationship was going to

9 develop.

10 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: So despite the title, Mr Port was --

11 A. Despite the title, yes.

12 SIR ANTHONY BURDEN: Thank you.

13 Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN

14 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Sorry, can I just complete that?

15 Was that what you meant when you referred earlier to

16 Mr Kinkaid seeing the question of collusion as one of

17 the major challenges to him in leading the

18 investigation, i.e. that it might actually be better if

19 the investigation was seen to be being led by somebody

20 complete independent of the RUC?

21 A. I certainly never got that impression from Mr Kinkaid

22 and we, again, did not have such a discussion. I think

23 what I was trying to say earlier on was he recognised

24 that the issue of collusion was an important one and it

25 was one that he was going to try to embrace within his

 

 

80

 

1 investigation.

2 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Right. Thank you.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Humphreys, we are very grateful for your

4 thorough and careful evidence and thank you very much

5 for coming.

6 A. Thank you, sir.

7 THE CHAIRMAN: We will adjourn now until five to two. Would

8 that be all right?

9 (12.54 pm)

10 (The short adjournment)

11 (1.55 pm)

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Mr Currans, the checklist. Is the public

13 area screen fully in place, locked and the key secured?

14 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the fire doors on either side of the

16 screen closed?

17 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

19 and securely fastened?

20 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

21 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

22 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

23 of this chamber?

24 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

25 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Can the video engineer please

 

 

81

 

1 confirm that the two witness cameras have been switched

2 off and shrouded?

3 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir.

4 THE CHAIRMAN: All the other cameras have been switched off?

5 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir.

6 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

7 Bring the witness in, please.

8 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

9 Full Participants' legal representatives may now be

10 switched back on.

11 Would you please take the oath.

12 P614 (sworn)

13 Questions by MR SAVILL

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Please sit down.

15 MR SAVILL: I'm going to ask you some questions in a moment.

16 Before I do, can I just remind you that obviously you

17 are a ciphered witness and you should have in front of

18 you a list of ciphers with names beside them. Before

19 you name somebody, could I just ask you to pause and

20 think whether that is a name that is on the cipher list

21 rather than expressing their name out loud.

22 A. Yes, sir.

23 Q. Thank you. You have given a statement to this Inquiry

24 and we can see the first page of that, please, at

25 RNI-842-093 (displayed). And if we go to the last page

 

 

82

 

1 of that at RNI-842-101 (displayed), we should see your

2 ciphered signature there, 8 August 2007?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. Thank you very much. I think I'm right in saying that

5 you joined what was then the Royal Ulster Constabulary

6 in 1996. Is that right?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. How old were you then?

9 A. I was 26 years old.

10 Q. Yes. And your first post was at Portadown police

11 station?

12 A. That's correct.

13 Q. So just help me with this: how long was the training?

14 How long was it before you actually became an

15 operational police officer?

16 A. It was six months' training at the training school

17 at Garnerville prior to commencement in Portadown.

18 Q. So when was it? Can you remember when you started at

19 Portadown?

20 A. I believe it was August 1996.

21 Q. And fast forwarding, could you, please, tell me what

22 your rank and the nature of your experience and role was

23 in March 1999?

24 A. I was a constable in the local mobile support unit, J2

25 Mobile Support Unit, that was based in Portadown.

 

 

83

 

1 Q. Thank you. And if we could go back to page RNI-842-093

2 please (displayed) -- you will get used to this, I am

3 afraid, a bit of jumping around, but bear with me.

4 A. Okay.

5 Q. Can we highlight the second paragraph? You say:

6 "I have been asked to describe my duties in the

7 mobile support unit. My main role was public order but

8 we also did house searches for different agencies within

9 the police. If we had no specific task we would do

10 general press preventative patrols."

11 Can we just break in that down: Am I right in

12 saying that your role in the MSU was a reactive one?

13 A. That would be correct, yes.

14 Q. So you would come on duty?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. You would be assigned particular, specific tasks perhaps

17 in the day?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. But if in the course of the day, as we see, an incident

20 of public disorder broke out, then you would drop what

21 you were doing and you would respond to that?

22 A. That's correct. The role was quite fluid at times.

23 A task could change at a moment's notice.

24 Q. And I suspect I'm right in saying that the occasions

25 when you say you had no specific task and did general

 

 

84

 

1 police preventative patrols were probably few and far

2 between, were they?

3 A. Sorry, could you rephrase?

4 Q. You say that:

5 "If we had no specific task, we would do general

6 police preventative patrols."

7 Those occasions would be few and far between?

8 A. That would be fair. Usually there would be some

9 objective or some task specific to that day's duty.

10 Q. Thank you. As a member of the MSU, what uniform did you

11 wear, what clothing did you wear?

12 A. We -- at that stage, in 1999, we wore a public order

13 uniform, which is the fire retardant flame-proof suit.

14 Q. I am just going to interrupt you. Can you take it from

15 the bottom upwards: So, boots?

16 A. Boots, flame retardant public order overalls, our gun

17 belt with public order baton, and public order gloves

18 and forage cap or red helmet if the circumstances

19 dictated it.

20 Q. And I'm sorry to ask you this, what colour was the

21 uniform?

22 A. Dark blue -- and sorry, body armour as well.

23 Q. I was going to ask you that. Body armour, was that just

24 for elbows and knees or was it for the torso?

25 A. No, it was for the torso. Ballistic body armour, should

 

 

85

 

1 the circumstances dictate, then there would have been

2 extra protective equipment worn which was leg pads and

3 arm pads.

4 Q. What about anything extra on the head underneath the

5 helmet?

6 A. Underneath the helmet, there would have been a

7 flame-retardant public order balaclava, I suppose would

8 be the best way to describe it.

9 Q. Speaking personally, I have two images of balaclavas:

10 ones that have a mouth and two eye holes and then

11 there's one which has a slit for the eyes and a slit for

12 the mouth. What was the type?

13 A. This one was just an opening for the eyes.

14 Q. And you would breathe through the cloth?

15 A. You'd breathe through the material, yes.

16 Q. But that and the little bits of armour you've spoken

17 about would only be worn when absolute necessary?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. Just tell me this, when you were doing your activities,

20 whether it was public order or house searches, what size

21 of team did you operate in?

22 A. The MSU consisted of -- the rank structure or the

23 strength would have been one inspector, four sergeants

24 and 24 constables, that's as its maximum.

25 Q. Pause there. Are you saying at this particular police

 

 

86

 

1 station?

2 A. That would have been the maximum strength for our mobile

3 support unit if everyone was on duty and available.

4 Q. When you say "our mobile support unit", what I'm driving

5 at is where was that based?

6 A. That was based in Mahon Road in Portadown.

7 Q. So far as you were concerned, did you ever have occasion

8 to patrol or act operationally with other categories of

9 person; Army or Special Branch, for example, or Royal

10 Military Police?

11 A. Not that I can recollect. No, not that I can recollect.

12 I can't recall ever working alongside the military, for

13 example, on specific operations. Mainly we were

14 stand-alone, worked with ourselves.

15 Q. At the time of 1999, you had been in this post, I think,

16 for how long?

17 A. 1999, approximately a year, there or thereabouts.

18 Q. And as far as your role in intelligence gathering is

19 concerned, did you have one or was that really something

20 that wasn't down to your unit?

21 A. We had no specific function -- I suppose all police

22 officers have a duty that if intelligence presents

23 itself, we would pass that on to the relevant

24 departments. But I suppose it wasn't really for us to

25 dictate what was intelligence and what wasn't

 

 

87

 

1 information that we believed may or may not be relevant

2 that was passed on.

3 Q. In terms of, for example, seeing someone who was either

4 a convicted or suspected terrorist in the course of your

5 duties, would that be something that you would feel that

6 you were under a duty to record and report, or not

7 really?

8 A. Yes, we would. That would be classified as a live

9 sighting and we would note details of the person

10 concerned, maybe what they were wearing, who they were

11 with and pass those details on.

12 Q. So, for example, if you went to do a house search and

13 there was a person of interest in the house that you

14 weren't expecting to see, then obviously that would be

15 something you would report?

16 A. Yes, if it was a house search there would be a facility

17 in the search records to document such incidents, but it

18 would be recorded, yes.

19 Q. Did you ever conduct vehicle checkpoints as part of your

20 duties?

21 A. We did, on a regular basis.

22 Q. Now, would that come under the heading of your general

23 police preventative role activity?

24 A. It would do, yes.

25 Q. When you conducted a vehicle checkpoint -- I don't mean

 

 

88

 

1 you personally, but the unit you were with -- would that

2 be under your own initiative or would you have been sent

3 forth from the police station with instructions, "Do six

4 vehicle checkpoints in the afternoon but it is up to you

5 where you do them", for example?

6 A. Most of the time it was left to our own decision-making

7 as to -- in relation to vehicle checkpoints. However,

8 there is times that we may have been told about -- to

9 carry out vehicle checkpoints as specific to our role

10 that day.

11 Q. Now, record-keeping about what you got up to in the

12 course of a day, including vehicle checkpoints; yes?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. What would I, if, for example, I turned up at the police

15 station, say, a week after the day of your activities,

16 be able to look at to see what you had been doing and

17 where you had gone?

18 A. Sorry, what capacity are you turning up at the police

19 station in?

20 Q. As a nosy barrister with access to all these items. I'm

21 just trying to give you an example.

22 A. It would be down to the individual officer, I suppose,

23 to record details of any incidents during that day.

24 Also there could be radio transmissions to the station

25 in relation to any incidents as well.

 

 

89

 

1 Q. So would it be the case that you would report, "We are

2 stopping to do a vehicle checkpoint at such and such

3 a location" or not?

4 A. It has been known. It would be done. There is no hard

5 and fast rules in relation to that. If they were

6 stopping somebody, there could be their details checked

7 via the radio. That would also mean that, yes, that

8 person has been stopped and has been spoken to by

9 police.

10 Q. Let me try and help you as to the purpose of what I'm

11 asking you. What I want to ask you is how difficult

12 would it be for either the Army but particularly the

13 police to operate a vehicle checkpoint without there

14 being a record of it?

15 A. It would be quite easy to operate a checkpoint without

16 any formal record, apart from maybe the police officer's

17 own entry or record of it. I think the reason for that

18 being that they would be so routine on a lot of

19 occasions that they wouldn't be formally reported as

20 such.

21 Q. You said it would be easy. Would it be unusual?

22 A. No.

23 Q. But obviously a vehicle checkpoint is a fairly obvious

24 operation?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

90

 

1 Q. So people would notice it in the conduct of it?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. But I think what you are say is that it was

4 a run-of-the-mill event?

5 A. Vehicle checkpoints are, yes.

6 Q. Thank you. Can I just ask you about out of bounds

7 areas?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. You are familiar with those?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. In the course of your activities whilst on duty, what,

12 if anything, were you told about out of bounds areas?

13 A. In general in relation to out of bounds areas?

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. Just one thing, really: if it is out of bounds, that we

16 are not supposed to be there, police are not supposed to

17 be there.

18 Q. Were you ever told the reasons for that?

19 A. Never.

20 Q. Presumably then you were not entitled and did not ask

21 the reasons?

22 A. That's correct, never asked. And even if you did you

23 wouldn't be told.

24 Q. Did you ever discover subsequently to a day of

25 operational duties that there had been an out of bounds

 

 

91

 

1 area and nobody had told you about it?

2 A. No, you usually -- usually the message is well put out.

3 If there is an out of bounds in an area it is usually

4 quite good in the fact that the police are notified.

5 Q. Moving it along a little bit, how were you told about

6 out of bounds areas?

7 A. It would usually come from a senior rank, a sergeant or

8 an inspector who had maybe received the information

9 themselves. They would then brief that down.

10 Q. That is why I have asked you, because I want to move on

11 to the issue of briefings. Before we do, would that be

12 at a certain point in the day that you were told of out

13 of bounds, or could you be told whilst you were out

14 performing your duties?

15 A. We could be told at any stage. If we have started duty,

16 we could be told at the briefing that today there is an

17 out of bounds in X/Y location. Or if we are actually

18 out on the ground, there may be a transmission or

19 a notification received from a senior officer to avoid

20 certain areas.

21 Q. Yes. Thank you. Before we move on to briefings, a

22 question has occurred to me that, in fairness, I should

23 have asked about vehicle checkpoints. You said that

24 they were easy and run-of-the-mill?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

92

 

1 Q. Are you expressing that view in terms of vehicle

2 checkpoints as well as Army, or confining it simply to

3 police?

4 A. I'm confining it to police because obviously I don't

5 know what procedures the military have in place for

6 vehicle checkpoints and what their method of recording

7 it is.

8 Q. Sorry, that was my fault. You arrive at the police

9 station in advance of the start time for your tour of

10 duty; yes?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. You then assemble, do you, for a briefing every day?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Was it known as a shift?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Before every shift you would have a briefing?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. Please tell me about that. Where would that be and who

19 would conduct it?

20 A. That would have been at Mahon Road police station or

21 Army camp and the briefing would have been conducted by

22 usually a sergeant, the odd time with an input maybe

23 from the inspector.

24 Q. Would that be the sergeant that would be coming out with

25 you, or someone that was based --

 

 

93

 

1 A. It was done on a rotation basis between the sergeants.

2 One day it would be X, the next day it would be Y. So

3 whoever took the briefing that day, it would be their

4 turn to be briefing sergeant.

5 Q. How would you describe the content of the briefing?

6 A. Sometimes it could be very short. It could be a case of

7 detail on what crews we were in and who was with us in

8 that crew. Other times it could be quite lengthy,

9 depending on the role we were to perform that day. If

10 it was in relation to a house search, for example,

11 obviously there is more detail that would be required as

12 to who, what, where, how and why. So the length of

13 briefing really depended on what was the function

14 that day.

15 Q. Am I right in saying it could be broken down into two

16 categories: there is the particular -- you go into this

17 house and this is what you need to perform the job

18 there -- and also a more general briefing?

19 A. That's correct, yes.

20 Q. What may actually not have anything to do with you but

21 what has gone on the night before, for example?

22 A. Maybe if there was something of particular relevance

23 that happened the night before, certainly that would be

24 brought to the fore.

25 Q. Were you briefed on individual convicted terrorists or

 

 

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1 suspected terrorists?

2 A. Not that I can recall, no. Sorry, at times we would

3 maybe get briefings from a collator, intelligence

4 gatherer, based at Portadown in relation to maybe

5 current threat levels, et cetera, but I can't remember

6 specific briefings in relation to specific individuals.

7 Q. So can I just pursue that a little bit and say this:

8 would it be the case that, for example, you would be

9 briefed, "X has been seen a number of times in the last

10 48 hours, query what's he up to", that level of briefing

11 or not?

12 A. I'm try to recollect circumstances or incidents where

13 that has occurred. It is quite possible, depending on

14 the threat level at the time, we would maybe get

15 intelligence passed to us in relation to sightings or

16 a vehicle maybe, more probably vehicle details, of

17 certain individuals at that time.

18 Q. Were you briefed on the associates of these type of

19 people?

20 A. We would have been. Again, I can't remember the

21 specific date and time of said briefings, but that

22 wouldn't be uncommon.

23 Q. So, for example, if I had been seen with a suspected

24 terrorist driving them down the street and been stopped,

25 would you be told that Mr X has been seen in

 

 

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1 Mark Savill's car?

2 A. That's quite possible, yes.

3 Q. Do you recollect whether Rosemary Nelson's name was ever

4 mentioned at any of these briefings?

5 A. Never.

6 Q. So it is not a case of you saying I can't remember; you

7 are categorically saying she was never mentioned?

8 A. I can categorically state her name was never mentioned

9 when I was on duty.

10 Q. What did you, in March 1999, know of Mrs Nelson?

11 A. Very little, apart from what I'd seen on TV, that she

12 was a solicitor from the Lurgan area and that she was

13 representing the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition. But

14 really apart from what was on the media in relation to

15 Mrs Nelson, I knew very little. I never met the lady.

16 Q. Were you aware that she had represented Mr Colin Duffy

17 in some high profile cases?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And were you aware of the results obtained by her acting

20 as his lawyer on his behalf?

21 A. In relation to the outcome of that --

22 Q. The murder cases?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Yes?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

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1 Q. That was common knowledge?

2 A. Yes, it was.

3 Q. What I want to ask you is was Mrs Nelson's general life

4 or, indeed, her association with Mr Duffy ever the

5 subject of conversation or canteen chat, as far as you

6 were aware?

7 A. Certainly not in my company. I never heard any

8 conversations from colleagues in relation to Mrs Nelson.

9 Q. And moving up a category, as it were, from the

10 individual to the profession, were you ever in the

11 company of or did you ever hear any conversation about

12 lawyers in general and their association with suspected

13 or convicted terrorists?

14 A. Never.

15 Q. You never heard any adverse views expressed --

16 A. Never.

17 Q. -- in that regard?

18 A. Never.

19 Q. Can we highlight paragraph 3, please, of your statement?

20 I will just read this:

21 "I have been asked to detail my work duties on 13

22 and 14 March 1999. I was on duty on 13 March at

23 Portadown on parade and public order duties. I was on

24 duty from 11 am until after midnight, 12.30 am, on

25 14 March 1999. I was also in Portadown on parade and

 

 

97

 

1 public order duties from 8 am until 4 pm."

2 Just to assist you -- you probably know this -- the

3 14th was the Sunday.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. When you say that you were on duty on the Saturday

6 night, can you actually recollect sitting here today

7 what it was that you were involved in?

8 A. No, I can't.

9 Q. You can't. As far as the Sunday is concerned, you, it

10 would seem, finished your duty at 4 pm in the afternoon?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. Again, can you recollect sitting here today what those

13 duties involved?

14 A. No, I can't.

15 Q. Let me just raise certain issues with you. I appreciate

16 that it may not be within your knowledge but I want to

17 just ask you about them.

18 The Inquiry has received evidence from an individual

19 that on the Sunday evening at about 11 pm there was

20 a police Land Rover parked on Lake Street. I can

21 hopefully take you to the location of that at

22 RNI-835-159, please (displayed). We can just highlight

23 that centre part. You will recognise the map very

24 easily, I hope. You can see the cross has rather

25 obliterated Lake Street; yes?

 

 

98

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And the witness has also gone on to tell the Inquiry

3 and, indeed, prior to the giving of a statement to the

4 Inquiry, has mentioned an individual wearing -- and it

5 varies -- dark clothing, combat gear with a ski mask or

6 balaclava getting into the back of a Land Rover on the

7 Sunday evening; yes?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Obviously you can't remember what you were doing, you

10 finished your duties at 4 pm, but what I want to ask you

11 is this: whilst on the Saturday night -- yes?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. As a matter of record, there's some investigation of

14 a suspected device, a hoax device, on Victoria Street

15 which mobile support units responded to. There is no

16 record of Land Rovers or a Land Rover being in the

17 vicinity on Lake Street on the Sunday evening. Are you

18 with me?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. I understand that you will say, well, I can't help you

21 because I don't remember, but what I want to ask you is:

22 would there ever have been the occasion for, for

23 example, a lone Land Rover to operate on its own and

24 there to be no record of it?

25 A. I really -- I don't know how to answer that. From

 

 

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1 a mobile support point of view, it certainly --

2 certainly the Land Rover wouldn't -- or seldom operate

3 alone. They would work as a unit. In relation to the

4 local station maybe having a Land Rover crew on duty --

5 I don't know, they may well have had a singular vehicle

6 out. I can't really answer that.

7 Q. No, no. I hope you understand why I'm asking you

8 because you are a member of the MSU. Was the MSU ever

9 used, either to their knowledge or without their

10 knowledge, in support of any covert operations as far as

11 you are aware?

12 A. No, certainly not. They wouldn't have been.

13 Q. Now, what I'm suggesting is in the second part of my

14 question: you may have been tasked to go somewhere, to

15 do something; yes?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. But unbeknownst to you, part of the purpose of that was

18 to support a covert operation. Do you follow me?

19 A. I do follow you, but there would have been other

20 departments available to the RUC to do such tasks.

21 Q. Such as?

22 A. There would have been a Headquarters mobile support unit

23 that work specifically for Special Branch.

24 Q. So -- forgive me -- your, as it were, twin, but simply

25 associated with Special Branch?

 

 

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1 A. Yes, we would be -- the mobile support units would be

2 more public order duties, crowd control, house searches.

3 There is also a department called Headquarters Mobile

4 Support Unit who are highly trained and would carry out

5 work in relation to Special Branch.

6 Q. So just to explore that: so they would be equipped and

7 clothed in the same way?

8 A. Very similar.

9 Q. Very similar?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Deployed in Land Rovers?

12 A. In a multitude of different types of vehicles depending

13 on what the circumstances dictated at the time.

14 Q. And with respect to you and your colleagues, trained to

15 the same level but perhaps a little higher for the

16 specific nature of their support task?

17 A. No, they are trained to a very, very high level. The

18 mobile support unit wouldn't be on a par with their

19 level of training and expertise.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Have you ever served in the Headquarters

21 Mobile Support Unit?

22 A. No, I haven't.

23 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

24 MR SAVILL: Before I move on from this, obviously the

25 individual's evidence that I have just told you about

 

 

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1 concerning someone wearing what looks like a ski mask or

2 a balaclava and dark clothing, that would tie in roughly

3 speaking, would it, with the type of clothing that

4 someone would have been wearing as a member of the MSU

5 were they deployed on that weekend?

6 A. Yes, apart from the camouflage part. I have never seen

7 a police officer in camouflage.

8 Q. In one version, the witness -- and I won't take you to

9 it -- speaks of two policemen behind the individual,

10 wearing green uniforms. Would that sort of interaction

11 be possible and likely?

12 A. In what context?

13 Q. We are talking of a man getting into the back of a

14 police Land Rover wearing the clothing I have described.

15 The witness also mentioned two police officers wearing

16 green uniforms being very close by to the Land Rover and

17 the individual. What I'm saying to you is: is that an

18 unusual circumstance?

19 A. That whole scenario would surprise me and be unusual.

20 Q. Sorry, which part of the scenario?

21 A. Sorry, somebody wearing camouflaged attire getting into

22 the back of a police vehicle with two police officers.

23 Q. I understand that, but if we prevent the use of the

24 expression "camouflage" and say "dark clothing,

25 balaclava" and two police officers wearing green at the

 

 

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1 rear of a police Land Rover?

2 A. Yes, that would be unusual because there is usually

3 uniformity within departments, whether it is the mobile

4 support unit or --

5 Q. It is my fault, but it is the use of the word

6 "camouflage" that you say is strange?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. In those circumstances?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Now, I want to move on, please, to deal with your

11 involvement at the scene of Mrs Nelson's murder. When

12 you first arrived yourself, can you remember which other

13 members of the police force were there?

14 A. There was -- well, ourselves, the mobile support unit.

15 There was, I presume, local police officers from Lurgan

16 station and I believe there was military. In what

17 chronological order of events on arrival, I'm not too

18 sure as to who was there first, last or second.

19 Q. So if we could call up RNI-842-094 (displayed), your

20 statement, just to complete the picture, paragraph 7

21 highlighted, you say:

22 "I certainly think we might have been the first

23 police personnel on the scene."

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Now, rest assured I'm not going to take you into the

 

 

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1 detail of what you saw there, but once you had been

2 there for a little while, what was your state of mind?

3 What were you feeling, experiencing what you were at the

4 scene?

5 A. Just a variety of emotions. One of being horrified,

6 obviously, as to what I had witnessed. A lot of

7 adrenaline obviously; I realised that the ramifications

8 of what had happened and what may happen because of

9 that. This was obviously the first time that I had

10 witnessed an event such as the one on that day. So

11 quite a range of emotions.

12 Q. Now, up until that point, had you yourself personally

13 had to attend a murder scene or a scene of extreme

14 violence involving either death or personal injury of

15 this nature?

16 A. No, this was the first time.

17 Q. So were you quite shocked by what you experienced?

18 A. Just horrified.

19 Q. Now, you made a statement to the police about this and

20 we can just see the front page of that, RNI-833-052

21 (displayed), and that's dated 18 May 1999; yes?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. And if we flick on, because some of it is not relevant,

24 to the final page, RNI-833-054 (displayed), I think the

25 writing is not too bad and we should all be able to read

 

 

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1 it. It is five lines down, beginning:

2 "I assisted ..."

3 At the end of the line, this sentence:

4 "I assisted with other personnel to hold up a cover

5 sheet whilst fire crews and paramedics removed

6 Mrs Nelson from the car. When this was done, myself and

7 Constable Ford stood at a cordon point at the bottom of

8 Ashford Grange. We later rejoined the rest of the unit

9 at Tannaghmore School when we were relieved by military

10 personnel."

11 Do you see that?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And you stand by that as being an accurate account of

14 your movements?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. We will come to an omission in due course.

17 Now, I hope that we are able to look at a photograph

18 or two, and perhaps the best photograph to use would be

19 number 6 (displayed). Just take a moment to view that.

20 It is probably a scene that comes back to your mind;

21 yes?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Now, you said that you were obviously involved with the

24 cover or the tarpaulin. When you had done that, when

25 Mrs Nelson had been removed, you stood at a cordon point

 

 

105

 

1 at the bottom of the Ashford Grange. At the risk of

2 stating the obvious, we can see the sign there stating

3 Ashford Grange?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And we can actually see a piece of tape; yes?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Now, are you able to point to on this photograph --

8 I have got another one with a bit of depth in it -- as

9 to where you think you were stood?

10 A. Could I have a photograph with some depth in it?

11 Q. Number 4, please (displayed). There we are. Is that

12 helpful?

13 A. It still doesn't actually highlight where the location

14 was. Down Ashford Grange, if you look at that picture

15 to the left, it is a cul-de-sac location. But at the

16 far end of that street, there is a pedestrian --

17 Q. Let's put number 16 on (displayed). This is looking

18 down towards the car. So are you saying you were behind

19 where the photographer would be standing?

20 A. Yes, that's my recollection. That is a cul-de-sac

21 location but to the left of the screen, and behind there

22 would have been a pedestrians' walk-through which led

23 into that area.

24 Q. The point we can take from that, which I hadn't

25 appreciated, was that you were quite a way from the car?

 

 

106

 

1 A. Yes, that's correct.

2 Q. According to this statement that you gave to the police

3 much nearer the time.

4 Now, there came a time that you say you saw someone

5 walk -- a sergeant -- into the scene and involve himself

6 with pieces on the ground?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. So just before you give us detail about that, bearing in

9 mind the statement saying that you helped with the

10 tarpaulin and then retreated up Ashford Grange, where

11 were you viewing the sergeant's activities from?

12 A. If we use photograph -- the first photograph.

13 Q. Just hold it up so I can see.

14 Number 4, I think that is. Is that right?

15 A. That's correct, yes. I would have been -- either to the

16 left of the hedge on the left-hand side of the picture

17 or maybe to the middle of the road, that general area.

18 Q. So we have got a hedge on the left of the screen; you

19 were either along the pavement up Ashford Grange?

20 A. Yes, just on the corner of that frame.

21 Q. Or where the white dashed lines are in the middle of the

22 road?

23 A. Yes, that general area.

24 Q. What were you doing standing there?

25 A. We had no specific function or role. There was myself

 

 

107

 

1 and my colleague were originally tasked to cover it, the

2 pedestrian access that we talked about.

3 Q. Was that Mr Ford?

4 A. Yes. We would just take it in turns to relieve each

5 other from that point. Whoever took over, the other

6 person would walk up the street and down again. We had

7 no specific task or function.

8 Q. When you told us in your statement that you stood at

9 a corner point at the bottom of Ashford Grange, that is

10 up Ashford Grange?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. And you say that you stood there with Mr Ford?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. But you are saying, are you, that you actually

15 alternated?

16 A. We did. As the day went on, there was obviously not

17 a requirement for the two of us to stand there, whether

18 it was just to stretch our legs or move up and down the

19 street, but again, no specific role or function.

20 Q. What I want to ask you is where was Mr Ford when this

21 individual wandered into your line of sight?

22 A. He would have been down at the pedestrian access to

23 Ashford Grange.

24 Q. Thank you. So you are stood in one of those two

25 locations, in that general area?

 

 

108

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. Where do you pick up in your eyesight this individual,

3 and please tell us what he does?

4 A. To my right, walking across from that frame there almost

5 through the middle of the screen towards maybe the

6 direction of the Ashford Grange road sign.

7 Q. So if the photographer were to walk towards the Ashford

8 Grange road sign --

9 A. That's almost like a diagonal across from where I was

10 standing.

11 Q. Thank you.

12 A. And the officer walked on debris -- as you can see from

13 the photograph, there was a lot of debris at the

14 junction there of Ashford Grange and I advised the

15 officer that he was walking on the scene, that there was

16 debris there and said -- the officer made a comment that

17 she is better off dead.

18 Q. We will come to the comments in a moment, but let's just

19 explore what you said. Was there anything the

20 individual said or did that indicated the purpose for

21 which he was walking in the direction he was walking?

22 A. No, he didn't say anything.

23 Q. What did you see him do in relation to objects on the

24 ground?

25 A. He appeared kick or stamp on a piece of debris. I can

 

 

109

 

1 remember the crunch of the foot walking across the scene

2 and that's what drew my attention to him, the fact that

3 he was walking across the scene.

4 Q. So did you not utter your caution to him until the

5 crunch, as it were?

6 A. My warning came too late by the time that he was

7 actually on the scene.

8 Q. Yes. In your opinion, having seen this, was this an

9 accident or a deliberate act on the part of the

10 sergeant?

11 A. I believe it was an accident.

12 Q. Why do you say that?

13 A. Well, looking back or thinking, there was absolutely

14 nothing to be gained. I can't -- it was a scene --

15 Q. Let me interrupt you. I don't want you to speculate as

16 to what was in his mind. I want you to tell us in your

17 own words, bearing in mind what you saw, why you say you

18 thought it was an accident?

19 A. Because it was an open area. There was -- I can't see

20 any reason as to why it would be deliberate. I do not

21 know how to answer your question.

22 Q. That's entirely my fault, in that case. Let me try and

23 help you. Was the way in which he moved his foot or leg

24 indicative to you that this was an accident or

25 deliberate?

 

 

110

 

1 A. It was an accident.

2 Q. Why?

3 A. Because if it was deliberate -- there just would have

4 been nothing to have been gained by it.

5 Q. I'm sorry, but I think we are speculating again.

6 A. Sorry.

7 Q. What I'm asking you is the physical actions of the

8 officer -- I'm giving an example -- did he walk in,

9 pause, look down, kick it like a football or did he keep

10 his head up, for example, walk straight ahead then look

11 down as he stood on it?

12 A. It was in the course of walking.

13 Q. Right. That's why you say it was an accident, is it?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. You warned him belatedly that he was on or in a crime

16 scene; yes?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. And what were his words?

19 A. "She is better off dead."

20 Q. Now, I just want to explore that with you, if I may.

21 You have given previous accounts of this incident; yes?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. And we will deal with the whys and wherefores in

24 a moment, but it really came up in a conversation in

25 a pub, didn't it?

 

 

111

 

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. So we have you there with colleagues. We don't need to

3 bother ourselves with who they are.

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. And you gave an account then -- and just so we are all

6 clear, that was in May 2004 --

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. -- of what was said. So let's just have a look at that.

9 RNI-406-310, please (displayed).

10 There is an awful lot of black on that page, but

11 this is the first page of the statement of one of your

12 colleagues who was in the pub. If we go to the next

13 page, RNI-406-311 (displayed), and we look four lines

14 down to the end of that line:

15 "I heard Detective Constable P614 say that when he

16 had been standing at the cordon at the Rosemary Nelson

17 bomb scene, a sergeant had come into the scene and

18 kicked a battery and that this sergeant had said, 'She

19 fucking deserved that' or words to that effect."

20 Yes?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. If we then look at the next helpful statement,

23 RNI-406-313 (displayed), and if we look about halfway

24 down the page, there is a black redaction on the

25 left-hand side of the page and if we look four lines

 

 

112

 

1 down from that, we can see a sergeant entered the scene

2 and kicked a battery from the supposed device; yes?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. And if we go to RNI-406-316 (displayed), we look at the

5 last four lines:

6 "It was something about a police officer kicking

7 a piece of debris whilst inside the murder scene of

8 Rosemary Nelson and how P614 had confronted the police

9 officer about his actions. P614 stated, 'The police

10 officer made some derogatory remark, but I cannot

11 remember what the remark was'."

12 Yes. Do you see that?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And I'm taking this as shortly as I can because the

15 facts are well-known to most of us, if not all of us.

16 As a result of this being raised in the public house,

17 you made a phone call to a member of the Murder

18 Investigation Team?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. And then someone rang you back?

21 A. That's correct.

22 Q. And if we could look at RNI-406-319. This is

23 a statement that I suspect may not be on the system, but

24 I'll read to you and tell you what it says at

25 RNI-406-320 that the conversation from you to this

 

 

113

 

1 police officer involved this:

2 "The sergeant came up, walked over into the scene

3 and kicked the magnet, he thinks. He then said, 'Fuck

4 her, she is better off dead'."

5 Yes?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. Now, what you have told us today, I hope you will accept

8 from me, is a little different to what you were alleged

9 to have said nearer the time?

10 A. Absolutely.

11 Q. Let me first of all say this: the versions that I have

12 given to you from men in the pub and the Murder

13 Investigation Team officer, do you accept what they say

14 is accurate or are you saying, "Actually, I didn't even

15 say that"?

16 A. I will accept what they have said.

17 Q. Thank you. And would you also accept from me that what

18 you are saying today -- and these are my words -- paints

19 the sergeant in a more favourable light because what you

20 are saying today is, albeit it some may say a somewhat

21 callous way, are those comments, "She is better off

22 dead" -- yes?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Isn't the same as what you were saying nearer the time,

25 which is involving "fuck her" or "she deserved that",

 

 

114

 

1 for example?

2 A. That's correct, yes.

3 Q. So why was it that there is this difference in your two

4 versions?

5 A. The only thing I can think of is the statement I made

6 the following day was made without the influences of

7 alcohol, was made in an environment that there wasn't

8 one of aggravation, fright, concern; it is a more

9 accurate recollection of events on that day.

10 Q. And presumably you would say that the statement that you

11 gave to the Inquiry solicitors was also made in a sober

12 and unpressurised environment?

13 A. That's correct, yes.

14 Q. Because you have mentioned it -- we will just look at

15 it -- RNI-833-056 (displayed). This is the second page

16 of your statement made as a result of the conversation

17 with the Murder Investigation Team. Could we highlight

18 the top half of the page, please? This just completes

19 the picture. About six lines down:

20 "At the rear of Mrs Nelson's BMW car and whilst

21 standing on the pavement, a uniformed police officer who

22 I believed was a sergeant appeared from my right

23 approximately 15 feet away, walked past the rear of the

24 BMW car and on top of debris from the vehicle.

25 I noticed the officer stand on or kick what looked like

 

 

115

 

1 a black metal object, possibly a magnet. I shouted at

2 him, 'You are walking through a scene' to which he

3 replied, 'She's better off dead' and continued to walk

4 on"?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. So that version and the version you have given to the

7 Inquiry is what you stand by and say today happened?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. I just want to show you, if I may, some photographs.

10 You should have them in front of you and they should be

11 available on the screen, if you will just excuse me for

12 a moment. (Pause)

13 We will come back to that in a moment, but as far as

14 you are concerned, this was an accident, you are telling

15 us today?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And the remark, albeit hard-nosed, was not one that was

18 any more unpleasant than that?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. Is that, if you will forgive me for saying so, something

21 you have toned down, as it were, to lessen the blame on

22 yourself for not raising the matter earlier?

23 A. No, certainly not. And I can fully appreciate that the

24 two accounts can have somewhat various interpretations.

25 My job is to recall events as best as possible that I

 

 

116

 

1 can remember. In relation to the actions of police or

2 anyone else for that matter, my job is not to defend or

3 to excuse their actions, but solely to recount it as

4 best as I can recall.

5 Q. But you understand what I'm driving at?

6 A. Totally, yes.

7 Q. You should have mentioned it earlier, you didn't, it

8 came up in the pub and you toned it down to get yourself

9 out of trouble?

10 A. Well, that's not correct but I can certainly understand.

11 In relation to should I have recalled this matter

12 earlier as a stand-alone incident, absolutely. I would

13 agree with you 100 per cent. But if we take into

14 context that day, arriving at the scene of a lady that

15 turned out to be fatally injured and then the fear as to

16 what was coming in the way of public disorder, with the

17 adrenaline rush, other events, shall we say, superseded

18 that incident.

19 Q. Well, let's just explore that because this is the second

20 part of this, why you didn't mention it. Were there

21 many other people around at the time when this sergeant

22 kicked whatever it was that he kicked?

23 A. I don't believe so. I don't believe so. I think it was

24 just --

25 Q. How long had Mrs Nelson been out of the car and absent

 

 

117

 

1 from the scene? Are you able to recall that?

2 A. I'm not sure of the exact time. It would have been some

3 time later because I can recall an air of quietness at

4 the scene at the time. But in relation to timeframes, I

5 am afraid I wouldn't be able to give exact times.

6 Q. But was there anyone else, can you remember, there who

7 would have seen this?

8 A. I can't recall. I don't think so, no.

9 Q. But you didn't make any note of it in your statement

10 about your duties. You didn't make any note of it in

11 your notebook, did you?

12 A. No, that's correct.

13 Q. Could we just highlight paragraph 29 of your statement,

14 RNI-842-100 (displayed). In the top paragraph, we can

15 see that you say:

16 "At the time, it did not seem significant in the

17 light of Mrs Nelson's death and the riot. For the same

18 reasons, I didn't mention it in my statement at the

19 time."

20 What do you mean by "the riot"?

21 A. Maybe -- later on there was some public disorder.

22 Q. So you are saying that this happened, but because of her

23 death and the riot, other matters, as it were,

24 superseded it and were more serious in your mind; is

25 that what you are saying?

 

 

118

 

1 A. Yes, on reading that it says:

2 "At the time, it did not seem significant ..."

3 On reading that, it looks as though I remembered

4 everything, made a conscious decision not to mention it

5 because other things were more important. But if I

6 could explain it in a way that events of that day

7 superseded that incident which, if it could have been

8 a stand-alone incident, then certainly would have been

9 in the forefront of my mind.

10 Q. Thank you. Could we just highlight paragraph 31 on the

11 same page, please? This is dealing with your being in

12 the pub. You say, second line:

13 "I told them about my attendance at the scene and

14 about the sergeant's actions. I had not spoken about

15 that day before then as it was very traumatic"?

16 A. That's correct.

17 Q. Am I right or wrong in saying that you're saying it was

18 traumatic in the same way as you are saying that other

19 incidents took over, or are you separating the two

20 excuses?

21 A. No, I'm talking solely about the death of Mrs Nelson and

22 what I witnessed at the scene.

23 Q. What I'm asking you is was it that you were traumatised

24 and, therefore, didn't mention it, or as we have seen in

25 paragraph 29, it didn't seem very significant in the

 

 

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1 light of subsequent events?

2 A. Yes, it didn't seem significant because of the traumatic

3 events that had unfolded that day. So because it was

4 a traumatic incident.

5 Q. So a bit of both?

6 A. Well, more a traumatic incident. That's why I didn't

7 recall it.

8 Q. I'm going to put this to you -- there is no evidence to

9 suggest that this is the case, but were it to be

10 speculated that you had some kind of sinister motive for

11 concealing the actions of the sergeant, what would you

12 say to that?

13 A. Well, it is untrue. I have been a professional police

14 officer and had been at that time. My duty is to record

15 and report facts. My job is not to cover up the actions

16 of others. I have never done that before and it is

17 certainly not something that I would entertain.

18 This is or was a murder enquiry, a scene of horrific

19 proportions. To be that cunning and guile to try and

20 cover up the misdemeanours, possible misdemeanours or

21 contaminate evidence at any murder scene is something

22 that would never enter my thought process.

23 Q. And again, just giving you the opportunity -- I hope you

24 understand -- to respond to these speculations, is it

25 the case that perhaps this never happened and that it

 

 

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1 was drink playing a part to in some way increase your

2 role in things in the pub when you were telling people

3 what had gone on, said for effect?

4 A. Certainly not. If that had have been the case, then

5 there would have been other opportunities in the past to

6 recall this incident.

7 Since that incident, up until that -- even until

8 now, I had received trophies on leaving in the MSU in

9 relation to statuettes, police officers' statuettes.

10 Subconsciously these are items that I never displayed.

11 I put them in a box and hid away. And on looking back,

12 through counselling, it has made me realise that these

13 items were something that triggered or reminded me of my

14 time while serving in Mid Ulster.

15 In answer to your question, no, it certainly -- it

16 is something -- if that was my thought process, then I

17 would have had plenty of opportunities in the past to

18 try and ingratiate myself, if that's what you are maybe

19 implying, with colleagues. So in answer to your

20 question, no.

21 Q. But you realise now and, I think, prior to today that

22 you made a mistake?

23 A. Oh, absolutely, and I could certainly -- I understand

24 and the perception that others can take from this is one

25 of skulduggery, if that is a phrase that can be used,

 

 

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1 that there is a cloak of conspiracy and cover-up. But

2 what I would try to implore to the Panel is that my

3 record as a police officer in the RUC and the PSNI would

4 suggest otherwise, especially in a murder enquiry and an

5 incident such as this.

6 THE CHAIRMAN: What is your current position?

7 MR SAVILL: That's just what I was going to ask.

8 A. My current rank?

9 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.

10 A. I'm a sergeant at the moment.

11 MR SAVILL: Just to be clear, you were brought before

12 a professional disciplinary hearing in relation to this?

13 A. I was.

14 MR SAVILL: What was the punishment?

15 A. The punishment was a caution in relation to failing to

16 complete a notebook entry.

17 Q. Would you have reported this if your colleagues in the

18 pub hadn't threatened to report it?

19 A. Absolutely. And if I can refer to the answer I just

20 gave, I'm well aware of my role as a police officer and

21 what my function is, and my record to date speaks for

22 itself. But certainly something like this -- and,

23 again, coupled with my way of dealing with that

24 incident -- if you can put yourself in a position that

25 the mobile support unit is -- or was certainly even in

 

 

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1 the late 1990s, a department or a group of officers with

2 a macho, almost, outlook on life. Our role was not on

3 to show any sign of weakness or let anything trouble

4 you. If there was anything that concerned you or you

5 found difficult, the policy was you say nothing and get

6 on with your job.

7 Q. I am afraid this may be my interpretation but what that

8 suggests is that if you saw another police officer

9 acting improperly, you would cover it up?

10 A. Oh, no, certainly not. That's not what I meant.

11 Q. I don't think that's what you meant, is it?

12 A. No, that's not the answer I meant. In relation to your

13 emotions or feelings at witnessing something disturbing

14 or horrific, that you didn't sit round in a circle and

15 share your feelings or concerns.

16 Q. But seeing a sergeant kick a piece of debris on the

17 ground at a murder scene isn't particularly traumatic,

18 is it?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Let's just look at the photographs that we have just

21 found, RNI-406-305, please (displayed). You should have

22 hard copies in front of you of parts of the device

23 because you've told us that it was either a magnet or

24 a battery. Everyone should have better copies than are

25 appearing on the scene. That little ruler at the bottom

 

 

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1 is helpful because it is 12 centimetres. So let's have

2 a look at the next page, please, which is RNI-406-306

3 (displayed). That's the battery, yes. We have seen

4 them now, the magnet and the battery. Does that assist

5 you in telling us what it was that was kicked?

6 A. I am afraid it doesn't. I can't say that, yes, that

7 Ever Ready battery is the item that was kicked that

8 comes to the fore of my mind or the objects on the

9 previous page.

10 My recollection at the time, if I can mention it,

11 a black magnet and then I also mentioned a cylindrical

12 item in previous statements. But no, I'm looking at

13 those items. I can't say, "Yes, that item on the right

14 is the item that was kicked or stood on".

15 Q. Just before I conclude, you gave a version of actually

16 quite a nasty comment by the sergeant at the scene, an

17 unpleasant remark?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. You gave that version in drink or, you say, in the

20 public house. But what I just want to be clear with you

21 is this: is it not perhaps the case that this was in

22 fact a very unpleasant remark, a silly and dangerous

23 thing for the sergeant to have done and that is why you

24 didn't mention it previously?

25 A. I can certainly understand that that is and will be --

 

 

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1 regardless of my evidence, that will be some persons'

2 opinion of what happened. If I could just reiterate

3 that what people's -- what the ramifications of me

4 reporting a colleague for ill-advised actions would have

5 no bearing on me. I would not lose sleep over reporting

6 the actions of a colleague if I believed them to be

7 detrimental, illegal or anything else.

8 Q. Even in a close knit and macho unit such as the MSU?

9 A. Regardless. At the end of the day, whilst that may draw

10 criticism from some colleagues -- I'm not naive to think

11 that if that was the case I would be getting pats on the

12 back all round -- but that's my job. My job is not to

13 cover, conceal, anything and it is certainly not the

14 case in relation to the scene of the explosion.

15 Q. Thank you. Now, I'm not going to show it to you, but

16 just so that people are aware, the statement of the MIT

17 officer that I had to read out because it wasn't

18 available is now on the system -- I don't want it

19 calling up -- at RNI-406-319 to 321; yes? You

20 understand what I'm saying?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Are you happy for me not to show that to you because

23 I quoted from it?

24 A. No, I'm happy.

25 Q. Just finally, as we say to all witness that appear

 

 

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1 before the Inquiry, is there anything that I haven't

2 asked you about or that you would like to tell the

3 Inquiry about before your evidence concludes?

4 A. Well, yes, I would just like to -- it's maybe not

5 relevant to the Inquiry, but place on record my thanks

6 to -- unfortunately I don't know her name. She was

7 a nurse that was at the scene that was tending to

8 Mrs Nelson. Without her -- it certainly highlighted my

9 nervousness and fear and the fact that I realised that

10 there was very little I could do for Mrs Nelson.

11 I called into her house afterwards. She was with

12 friends, I believe she was an off-duty nurse, to see if

13 she was okay and to thank her for what she did.

14 Unfortunately I never got the chance to do that, but

15 certainly if she hadn't have been there it would have

16 maybe highlighted my inadequacies as to be able to deal

17 with the fatal injuries that Mrs Nelson sustained on

18 that day.

19 Q. Thank you. I said I wasn't going to ask any more

20 questions but one question I have been asked to ask you:

21 were you drunk in the pub the night that you were with

22 your colleagues?

23 A. I would say pretty much getting there, a couple of

24 drinks, yes. Not inebriated that I couldn't stand or

25 talk.

 

 

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1 Q. But you had had a few drinks?

2 A. I had had a few drinks.

3 MR SAVILL: Thank you.

4 Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN

5 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: I just wanted to ask you about

6 recollection because we have been very conscious in

7 conducting this Inquiry that we are now talking ten

8 years after the event, and when you talked to your

9 colleagues in the pub, it was already five years after

10 the event.

11 A. Yes.

12 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: How sharp do you think your

13 recollection is or was of exact words used?

14 A. Well, since that incident, since it was mentioned to my

15 colleagues and subsequent interviews I have had with

16 a variety of people, whether it is the investigation

17 team or the Police Ombudsman's office, I have found that

18 my recollection -- to give you an example, at the scene

19 of the explosion I had been convinced, and still to this

20 day in my mind's eye -- that I was holding up a green

21 tarpaulin, the type you would see in gymnasiums that

22 splits halls, and I have since been advised that there

23 was no tarpaulin; it was a blanket of some sort. I have

24 also spoke to various relevant parties that there was no

25 tape, no police cordon at the scene, convinced that this

 

 

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1 was the case. Yet on seeing photographs, that's not the

2 case.

3 So my recollection is as best as I can remember of

4 that traumatic occasion. However, evidence has been

5 shown to me that hasn't the case, which has troubled me,

6 that this is my recollection of what happened, if that

7 answers your question. Maybe it doesn't.

8 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: It sort of goes some way. On

9 a scale of 1 to 10 -- let me put it that way -- how

10 confident are you that you now have the exact words that

11 were used?

12 A. The evidence I have given before the Inquiry today are

13 my -- the best and truest reflection as to what happened

14 on that day.

15 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: That wasn't really the question.

16 A. Sorry, 10.

17 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: You are as confident as you possibly

18 can be?

19 A. Absolutely.

20 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Thank you.

21 A. Sorry for going round the houses with that answer.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you for coming to give evidence before

23 us. Before the witness leaves, can the video engineer

24 please confirm that all the cameras have been

25 switched off?

 

 

128

 

1 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir.

2 THE CHAIRMAN: Please escort the witness out. We will

3 adjourn until 20 past?

4 MR SAVILL: I am in your hands.

5 THE CHAIRMAN: 20 past.

6 (3.05 pm)

7 (Short break)

8 (3.22 pm)

9 THE CHAIRMAN: The checklist, Mr Currans. Is the public

10 area screen fully in place, locked and the key secured?

11 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

12 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the fire doors on either side of the

13 screen closed?

14 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

15 THE CHAIRMAN: Are the technical support screens in place

16 and securely fastened?

17 MR CURRANS: Yes, sir.

18 THE CHAIRMAN: Is anyone other than Inquiry personnel and

19 Participants' legal representatives seated in the body

20 of this chamber?

21 MR CURRANS: No, sir.

22 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Can the video engineer please

23 confirm that the two witness cameras have been switched

24 off and shrouded?

25 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir.

 

 

129

 

1 THE CHAIRMAN: All the other cameras have been switched off?

2 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir.

3 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

4 Bring the witness in, please.

5 The cameras on the Panel, Inquiry personnel and the

6 Full Participants' legal representatives, may now be

7 switched back on.

8 Would you please take the oath.

9 A189 (sworn)

10 Questions by MR SAVILL

11 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please sit down.

12 MR SAVILL: Before I ask you some questions, can I just

13 remind you that you are a ciphered witness and that

14 there are other personalities that we may or may not

15 discuss who have ciphers as well. You should have in

16 front of you a cipher sheet, I hope, which is

17 self-explanatory. Can I just ask you to pause for

18 thought before you use anybody's name and check whether

19 you should be using a cipher. Do you understand?

20 A. Yes, I understand.

21 Q. Thank you very much. Let's have a look, please, at the

22 first page of your statement to this Inquiry,

23 RNI-840-128 (displayed), and the last page, please,

24 which should have your ciphered signature upon it,

25 RNI-840-136 (displayed). Yes, 19 July 2007?

 

 

130

 

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Thank you. Now, in March 1999, please, how long had you

3 been in the Army?

4 A. About six years, I would say it was about six years up

5 to that point.

6 Q. What was the rank that you held in March 1999?

7 A. I believe I was a lance corporal, possibly a corporal.

8 Q. In the Royal Irish Regiment?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. With the 3rd Battalion?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And in March 1999, where were you based?

13 A. I was based at the Mahon Road.

14 Q. Thank you. And what was your personal role, what did

15 you do, what were your duties as a corporal at that

16 stage?

17 A. Basically it was just to administer a section of men

18 within a platoon and make sure that they were up to

19 speed on their training, and basically the paperwork was

20 filed away correctly for the platoon commander and just

21 basically leading team of eight men.

22 Q. Would it be right to say that your primary role was as

23 an infantryman?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. But in the context of Northern Ireland, that was shaded

 

 

131

 

1 a little bit with other roles, such as -- and I don't

2 mean this rudely -- low level intelligence gathering.

3 Would that be fair?

4 A. Infantry for the Home service was different from general

5 service.

6 Q. Now, could we just highlight paragraph 2, please:

7 "My role and that of the Battalion was defined as

8 supporting the RUC in the defeat of terrorism. We were

9 involved in low level intelligence gathering. We did

10 this by way of patrols in hardline areas where suspects

11 were known to live or where the police had to go and we

12 also carried out vehicle checkpoints."

13 Yes?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. How did you physically gather the intelligence? Did you

16 write it down, did you radio it in? What was done to

17 record intelligence?

18 A. It was done in a different manner of ways, but basically

19 what you said was correct. It would have been

20 Charlie 1s. If you would have stopped anybody,

21 a Charlie 1 had to be filled out.

22 Q. That's a form?

23 A. Yes. As well as sending live time sightings back

24 through to Battalion headquarters.

25 Q. I'm sorry, I missed that. Timed?

 

 

132

 

1 A. Live time sightings. So if we had sighted a known

2 person, that would have been sent what we call live

3 time.

4 Q. And somebody else would have recorded it?

5 A. That would have been logged in the operations room.

6 Q. Were you often accompanied by members of other services,

7 the police, the Royal Military Police?

8 A. Yes, we had RMP accompaniment and sometimes RUC

9 accompaniment.

10 Q. What was the purpose of that?

11 A. I think the RUC accompaniment was basically in case we

12 get into any bother, and they were there basically as

13 a back-up to stop anything getting out of hand.

14 So legally they were keeping us right. And the RMPs

15 were usually there because they were supposed to be up

16 to speed to the players or known personalities. So they

17 were supposed to be the holy grail of personalities.

18 They knew everybody.

19 Q. They were the people that would spot things that perhaps

20 might pass you or your colleagues by. Is that fair?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Now, we have just looked at the fact that you carried

23 out vehicle checkpoints. Were vehicle checkpoints

24 assigned to you at the beginning of a shift, if I can

25 call it that? You were told you had to do six or you

 

 

133

 

1 would do them on these roads, or was it up to you?

2 A. No, no, it was pre-planned and we would have come from

3 the operations room, obviously from the commanding

4 officer down, filtered down to the operations room, and

5 then out towards the companies. But we knew where we

6 were going to be operating. We had a timescale, say,

7 from 08.00 to 10.00 hours and we had to do VCPs. You

8 weren't told how many to do but we fitted in what we

9 thought was possible.

10 Q. You were told to do VCPs?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Not how many?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Were you told where to do them?

15 A. Yes, we were given a specific location.

16 Q. How precise was that?

17 A. Okay, i.e. town centre, so we operated within the town

18 centre of Lurgan, Portadown, Craigavon, wherever it

19 happened to be.

20 Q. It may sound silly coming from me, but it wasn't "by the

21 traffic lights on this road", it was more general than

22 that?

23 A. It could have been specific to a road or it could have

24 been specific just to town centre or a broader aspect of

25 that.

 

 

134

 

1 Q. As far as your activities whilst out on patrol are

2 concerned -- I'm not talking about reporting

3 intelligence, I'm talking about walking from A to B or

4 being driven from A to B, carrying out vehicle

5 checkpoints; yes?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. What records would be kept either by you or people back

8 at base to record, if anyone wanted to check

9 subsequently, what you had been doing?

10 A. Initially, before we went to do any task, we had a job,

11 a trace, and what we done we tried to stick to that

12 trace as best as possible.

13 Q. What is a trace?

14 A. A trace would have been like a map, something like this.

15 (Indicates)

16 Q. Yes.

17 A. We would have highlighted on it the route we were going

18 to take and vehicle checkpoints that we intended to

19 carry out. And then attached to that would have been

20 a flapsheet, which would have been the names of the

21 persons and what teams they were in and what their task

22 would have been during the day as well. And then that

23 went to the operations room and they had a look at it,

24 and if it was okay, then that was fine, we went and we

25 done the task the next day. And if anything had changed

 

 

135

 

1 during the task, then we would have put in what was

2 called an honesty trace, where we would have changed

3 anything that had originally been placed in.

4 Q. If I can give you an extremely stupid example, for which

5 I hope you will forgive me, supposing you didn't want to

6 do what you had been asked to do and wanted to sit

7 behind a wall having a cigarette --

8 A. It is not very professional, is it?

9 Q. No, it is not, and I have already called it a stupid

10 example. So bear with me. I'm not suggesting that you

11 did, but how hard would it have been to do that, bearing

12 in mind the monitoring that was going on of your

13 activities? Do you see what I mean?

14 A. Yes, I see where you're coming from. It would have been

15 very easy to do that, yes. Any time you could have took

16 yourself in behind and wall and had a break, had

17 a smoke, which sometimes we had occasion to do.

18 Q. Certainly. And what about vehicle checkpoints? How

19 difficult would it have been for someone -- and again,

20 I'm not suggesting you did -- in your position working

21 in the Royal Irish Regiment to have conducted a vehicle

22 checkpoint unknown to those above you and those at your

23 base?

24 A. I suppose if I was operating in a section on my own,

25 that would have been possible. But if we had

 

 

136

 

1 accompaniment, like RUC or RMPs, then if we had have

2 deviated from anything that we said we were supposed to

3 have been doing, that would have been brought to their

4 attention.

5 Q. To summarise, am I right in saying that the adequacy of

6 checking up what had gone on on a patrol was very much

7 reliant on the honesty of those who had been on the

8 patrol?

9 A. Basically, in a nutshell, yes.

10 Q. As far as briefings were concerned, before you went out

11 on patrol, presumably you were briefed?

12 A. Yes, and anybody, any accompaniment we would have, RMP

13 or RUC, they were also briefed as well.

14 Q. And who gave that briefing?

15 A. It depended on how many was going out. If it had have

16 been a platoon operation, like four teams and a platoon

17 commander would have given the briefing for it. If it

18 had have been just two teams, then it would have been

19 the team commander who would briefed the troops and any

20 accompaniment that we had.

21 Q. And I think what you are saying there is that you would

22 be briefed by someone who was going out on a patrol with

23 you?

24 A. Basically the person that was in charge of the patrol

25 would have given the brief.

 

 

137

 

1 Q. Would you not have been given briefings by someone, for

2 example, from the operations room or the intelligence

3 cell prior to going out on patrol?

4 A. Yes, weekly we would have got different briefings from

5 the intelligence cell, but again, depending on how large

6 scale the operation was would have depended on who

7 briefed us.

8 Q. So you would have been briefed weekly by the

9 intelligence cell?

10 A. Yes, and sometimes daily, just depending on what the

11 trip was, if it changed.

12 Q. What about the operations room? Would they brief you?

13 A. Normally commanders would have went to the operations

14 room instead of everybody going into a busy room with

15 people trying to talk and have conversations on

16 telephones. To save everyone going to the operations

17 room, the Commander would have went to the operations

18 room, received the brief and he would have passed it on

19 to the rest of the troops.

20 Q. Where would the briefing by a fellow soldier be given,

21 in the yard or in a room?

22 A. It could have been in the changing room, it could have

23 been in the briefing room. If the weather was good, it

24 could have been outside, gathered at the vehicles. It

25 just depended.

 

 

138

 

1 Q. So there was a briefing room?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And would that be the room where you were briefed by the

4 intelligence cell?

5 A. No, that was a separate room.

6 Q. What was that known as?

7 A. That was -- I think it was called the int room.

8 Q. Short for intelligence?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. But it wasn't the intelligence cell room?

11 A. It was theirs and it was under lock and key. There was

12 a coded door on it because there was obviously

13 information there which was restricted.

14 Q. It is probably me, but what I'm driving at is the

15 intelligence people, the intelligence cell had to work

16 somewhere; yes? Were you briefed in the room that they

17 worked in or is it a separate room that you are talking

18 about?

19 A. Again, it depended. If it was a battalion operation

20 which was quite large scale, then there would have been

21 a separate brief set up by the intelligence cell on that

22 particular operation on what we were looking for. If it

23 was a run-of-the-mill thing, the Commander could have

24 gone over to the int cell and received a briefing from

25 whoever was on the int desk that day.

 

 

139

 

1 Q. We have heard previously evidence that a room in which

2 briefings took place was covered with photographs of

3 suspects and associates. Which room was that?

4 A. That would have been the int room.

5 Q. That was the int room? And that's your recollection as

6 well?

7 A. That's how I recall it, just the int room.

8 Q. We can all build a mental picture. How big is the int

9 room?

10 A. I would have thought about a quarter of the size of this

11 room here.

12 Q. And again, mental picture: did it have rows of seats or

13 desks?

14 A. Yes, it had rows of seats and it had a projector screen

15 and a white screen against the wall, and then off to the

16 side would have been pictures behind a glass screen.

17 Q. How big was the wall or the board that the pictures

18 were on?

19 A. I would have thought the picture wall would have been

20 about three to four foot in height by about two to three

21 feet across.

22 Q. Did the pictures have names on them or not?

23 A. I'm not too sure. I think, yes, they would have had

24 names on them.

25 Q. Were these pictures of convicted terrorists, suspected

 

 

140

 

1 terrorists, associates, all three?

2 A. Well, it would have been a mixture of --

3 Q. A mixture of those three?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And was Colin Duffy one of those people?

6 A. He would have been, yes.

7 Q. Because I think -- I won't take you to it -- you

8 describe him in your opinion as being at that time the

9 number one suspect in Lurgan?

10 A. Yes, that's correct.

11 Q. So presumably briefings would mention someone such as

12 Mr Duffy, if relevant?

13 A. Yes, that's correct.

14 Q. And those that he associated with?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Were you aware at the time in March 1999 of

17 Mrs Rosemary Nelson?

18 A. Yes, I had been aware of her, but not to a point of

19 where I would have classified her as an associate.

20 Q. Well, you anticipate what I'm going to ask you: how were

21 you aware of her?

22 A. Well, I think the majority of people within the

23 battalion knew that she was the solicitor who worked on

24 behalf of -- I think what you could say the Kilwilke

25 Estate.

 

 

141

 

1 Q. Yes. And presumably, therefore, you are saying that

2 comment was made in, I don't know, for example, the

3 canteen or the back of the Land Rover --

4 A. Yes, you know, in general talk. Nobody was took into

5 the int room and briefed that this was who this person

6 was and we should be looking out for her. There was

7 none of that going on.

8 Q. But if you were, forgive me for the word, chatting to

9 your colleagues, her name would come up?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. You said that she was known for representing, I think

12 you said "the Kilwilke". Was her particular involvement

13 with representing Mr Duffy in some high profile murder

14 cases known to you and others?

15 A. I had -- yes, I had briefly -- I had heard about

16 Colin Duffy and one particular case where a soldier had

17 been shot and killed.

18 Q. And what did you know? What was told to you or did you

19 find out about that?

20 A. I suppose -- I didn't actually do too much research work

21 myself, but just having watched the news and stuff,

22 I knew that she had been representing him and that she

23 had -- he had actually -- I think he had got off in that

24 case.

25 Q. Yes. Now, did you also recollect any mention of

 

 

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1 Mrs Nelson representing him for the murder of two police

2 constables?

3 A. Yes, I would have been aware of that as well.

4 Q. Yes, very helpfully you have told me that at the one end

5 of the scale, the serious intelligence room briefing,

6 photographs and so on, Mrs Nelson was never mentioned?

7 A. She may have been. Certainly after the two policemen

8 had been murdered, that would have been mentioned maybe

9 at a briefing, but it wasn't to finger her out; it is

10 just that Colin Duffy's legal representation would have

11 been Rosemary Nelson.

12 Q. Forgive me, having said that, I have to ask you: what

13 was the relevance of that?

14 A. Well, I think Colin Duffy was a high profile personality

15 and I think people just generally wanted to know what

16 was going on.

17 Q. So if I can try and help you, the relevance wasn't

18 Mrs Nelson or her role, who she was, what she did, the

19 relevance was Mr Duffy and anything he came into contact

20 with or anyone he came into contact with --

21 A. Basically, yes.

22 Q. - be of interest; is that what you are saying?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. So what I want to ask you is, we have also mentioned

25 that her name was discussed in the conversations that

 

 

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1 were had informally between yourself and your

2 colleagues, but was there any discussion about her role

3 in representing Mr Duffy?

4 A. No. I'm sorry, can you elaborate a bit more?

5 Q. On the one hand, we have got back of the Land Rover,

6 canteen, "Mrs Nelson is acting for Mr Duffy". On the

7 other hand, you are saying she may well have been

8 mentioned in a briefing. Either in one of those two or

9 in the middle somewhere, was her name mentioned in the

10 context of representing Mr Duffy and views expressed as

11 to her role in that?

12 A. It was just -- it was brought up generally, I think,

13 that she was representing Colin Duffy.

14 Q. Because, as I understand it, there was obviously

15 a feeling of upset when Mr Duffy wasn't, in the view of

16 some, convicted and punished for his crimes; yes?

17 A. Well, that would have been some people's view, yes.

18 Q. Mrs Nelson had played her role in that, some may have

19 said. And what I'm asking you is was there

20 conversation, views expressed by soldiers or police that

21 you know about to the effect, "That wretched woman, she

22 has got Colin Duffy off"?

23 A. Well, them conversations may have took place but I can't

24 recall ever hearing anything like that.

25 Q. Let's just be clear, you are saying you certainly didn't

 

 

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1 say anything like that?

2 A. No.

3 Q. And what I want you to think back as hard as you can

4 about is were you present when those conversations may

5 have taken place?

6 A. I assume you are talking about the conversations of --

7 what conversations are you talking about?

8 Q. People were unhappy with Mrs Nelson's role --

9 A. No, I can't -- I haven't witnessed anything like that.

10 I never took part in any conversation like that myself.

11 Q. No. Did you ever hear of any conversations of that

12 nature?

13 A. No.

14 Q. So it was never discussed, to the best of your

15 knowledge, that people were unhappy with the role she

16 played in the representation Mr Duffy?

17 A. To the best of my knowledge, no.

18 Q. In fairness to you, I just want to show you a section of

19 your statement -- just bear with me for one moment.

20 (Pause)

21 Could we go to RNI-840-133, please (displayed)?

22 Could we just highlight the top paragraph, which is 18?

23 Just read the second line:

24 "I knew that he had been in prison at one stage and

25 that he got off as a result of legal loop holes."

 

 

145

 

1 Can I just pause there. You are not, I think,

2 saying in your statement that that was, as it were,

3 improper, but there had been a legal technicality that

4 had resulted in his being released or acquitted?

5 A. That's what I believed. Whenever I made that statement,

6 that's how I believed that he had got off on the action,

7 that he was supposed to have -- alleged to have done on

8 a legal loophole, on a technicality.

9 Q. Did you hold any view about the right or wrong of that?

10 A. Well, not personally, no.

11 Q. Well, you have, I am afraid, tempted me there? Not

12 personally; what about anybody else?

13 A. I don't understand. I mean, had anybody else got an

14 opinion like that?

15 Q. Let me put it bluntly to you. The man is guilty, it is

16 as plain as the nose on your face, but he has got off

17 because of that stupid lawyer on a technical point?

18 A. Well, the court has said he is not guilty, so he is not

19 then.

20 Q. But I have put to you, to try and help you, the

21 expression. Did people express that view?

22 A. Yes, that he has probably done it but he has got off.

23 Yes, you would be right saying that.

24 Q. Then you say:

25 "I believe that it was Rosemary Nelson who was

 

 

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1 acting on his behalf. I think that's why a number of

2 people might have had something against her. I think

3 there may not have been a lot of sympathy for her as

4 a result of what happened due to the fact that she had

5 been representing Colin Duffy. This is just my feeling,

6 though."

7 Let's be fair, it is not what you are saying your

8 feelings were, is it?

9 A. I'm sorry, can you repeat that again?

10 Q. This last two sentences, these last two sentences I have

11 just read to you, those aren't your feelings?

12 A. That's my feeling, yes.

13 Q. It is a feeling about a feeling. You say this is just

14 my feeling, but you are expressing your opinion about

15 what other people may have felt?

16 A. Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. I was just

17 expressing my opinion --

18 Q. Yes, but I'm trying to be clear. You are not saying

19 that was the view you held?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Let's look at it:

22 "I think that was why a number of people might have

23 had something against her."

24 That's neither black nor white. Did people have

25 something against her? Did you hear that expressed?

 

 

147

 

1 A. I never heard it expressed, but I think it is pretty

2 obvious that people had something against her when she

3 was murdered.

4 Q. Yes, but I'm talking about prior to her murder.

5 A. No.

6 Q. "I think there may not have been a lot of sympathy for

7 her ..."

8 And that, you say, again, you would say is at the

9 time of the murder?

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. Who would you include as those not having much sympathy

12 for her?

13 A. I think maybe the people that Colin Duffy had allegedly

14 murdered, I think maybe his family, their family

15 members.

16 Q. So you are confining it to that. It is not members of

17 the security forces generally?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Sorry?

20 A. No, no.

21 Q. Was it ever discussed, as far as you were aware, that

22 the relationship between Mrs Nelson and Mr Duffy may

23 have gone beyond that of a solicitor/client

24 relationship?

25 A. No. Are you talking about having an affair and sexual

 

 

148

 

1 relationship? Is that what --

2 Q. I'm asking you the question I'm just asking you.

3 A. No, it only come to light whilst I was reading the

4 Inquiry's website.

5 Q. As far as you are aware, nothing was ever discussed --

6 A. No, never -- certainly.

7 Q. No. We have heard evidence from a witness before the

8 Inquiry, a member of the Royal Irish Regiment, that it

9 was certainly his view, as he tried to express it, that

10 there was a very close link between terrorists and the

11 lawyers that represented them. He was not really

12 someone who was able to divide the solicitor and the

13 client, if you follow me; yes?

14 A. I don't really understand what you are saying.

15 Q. A witness has told the Inquiry that in his view lawyers

16 acting for terrorists were, to use an expression, no

17 better than them and that they, the solicitors, were the

18 enemy too because they had chosen in a conflict to act

19 for terrorists; yes?

20 A. Yes, that was somebody else's view, certainly not mine.

21 Q. Let's take it in stages. Do you understand what I'm

22 saying?

23 A. Yes, I understand what you are saying.

24 Q. Is that a view that you have heard expressed by members

25 of the Royal Irish Regiment or the Royal Ulster

 

 

149

 

1 Constabulary?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Is it a view that you yourself have ever associated

4 with?

5 A. No, I wouldn't say that, no.

6 Q. Thank you. A slightly different topic, out of bounds

7 areas. Were you made aware of those before you went out

8 on patrol?

9 A. Yes, we would have been, yes, by visiting the ops room

10 before going on patrol.

11 Q. So would someone be delegated to go up to the ops room

12 to get that information?

13 A. The commander on the ground would have gone to the ops

14 room and would have checked before we went out to check

15 and make sure that nothing had changed before we went

16 out. And that would have been clearly marked on a map,

17 an out of bounds area that was to be avoided by

18 ourselves.

19 Q. Would there have been a map on the ops room?

20 A. A massive map.

21 Q. And whoever went up would copy the out of bounds area?

22 A. You would have took the grid references and you would

23 have marked them on your own map.

24 Q. Presumably you would never have been told why an area

25 was out of bounds?

 

 

150

 

1 A. No.

2 Q. You never asked?

3 A. It was filtered down from the ops room, you were told to

4 stay away from it and that would have been it.

5 Q. Was that religiously observed?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Did it ever occur that after you had come back from the

8 patrol, you discovered that there had been an out of

9 bounds area that nobody had told you about?

10 A. There may have been one come in whilst we were on the

11 ground, but that would have been called up live time on

12 the radio, and we may have encroached into it without

13 knowing, but after certainly the information had have

14 been received and recorded, then we would have stayed

15 away.

16 Q. Yes. Now, dealing with the weekend of 13 to 15 March,

17 you were working on various shifts over that weekend.

18 Can you remember, sitting there now, what you were doing

19 that weekend?

20 A. Honestly, no.

21 Q. Well, if we just have a very quick look at a statement,

22 RNI-833-042 (displayed). Can we highlight the text of

23 that? This is a statement given by yourself but in

24 relation to another matter that doesn't concern us. The

25 best way, I think, to look at it is at the left-hand

 

 

151

 

1 side of the statement, you can just see as the first

2 word:

3 "SAT 14 March 1999."

4 Can you see that?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. We can just very quickly see that you left Portadown,

7 Sat 14 March at about 9 o'clock in the morning; yes?

8 Now, as far as you are concerned, you worked in shifts;

9 yes.

10 A. That's correct.

11 Q. How long was a shift? I know sometimes they went on

12 longer than you thought they were going to.

13 A. They varied. It could have been a 24-hour shift, it

14 could have been a 12-hour shift or an eight-hour shift.

15 Q. Yes. Can we call up RNI-840-133, please, paragraph 19

16 (displayed):

17 "In the days around her murder, I would have been in

18 and around the area, around her house and up and down

19 Lake Street a number of times. There were only

20 a certain number of ways in and out of that area and

21 into Lurgan."

22 Yes?

23 A. That's correct.

24 Q. So just to summarise it, you were carrying out over the

25 weekend duties that in reality you carried out every

 

 

152

 

1 day, there was nothing unusual about what you were

2 doing; is that right?

3 A. No.

4 Q. You were carrying out the role that you have just

5 discussed with me a few moments ago; yes?

6 A. That's correct, yes.

7 Q. Now, as far as the evening of the 14th, the Saturday, is

8 concerned, do you recollect sitting there today,

9 carrying out any vehicle checkpoints?

10 A. No, I can't, not sitting here I cannot.

11 Q. That's entirely fair. You were on duty on 15 March,

12 which is the Monday, and if we could call up RNI-833-043

13 (displayed), this is a statement that you gave to the

14 Murder Investigation Team. I think we can highlight the

15 whole typed section. I'm not going to read it all, but

16 we have in the fourth or third line down:

17 "I carried out in the Lurgan area on Monday 15 March

18 ..."

19 Yes? So that is a statement dealing with what you

20 were doing on the Monday. Yes? And you refer in the

21 second line to having had sight of an original patrol

22 report; yes?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. I hope we can call on to the same screen, RNI-406-304

25 (displayed). That, I think, is the patrol report; yes?

 

 

153

 

1 A. Well, that's the flap sheet.

2 Q. I was just going to ask you. Some time ago you told us

3 about a flap sheet, I think?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. That's the flap sheet?

6 A. Yes, that would have been attached to the patrol report.

7 Q. Exactly. We can see in the third block down, or the

8 second one up from the bottom, a call sign has been

9 scribbled out and L21A written in and your cipher, A189,

10 written there; yes?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. I'm sorry, it is just my curiosity. What does ECM stand

13 for?

14 A. It stands for electronic counter measures.

15 Q. And NIPIN?

16 A. Northern Ireland pin.

17 Q. We can just look at that just for a few seconds and we

18 can see the unit, the time that it went out, the time

19 that it came back, the date. So it is, at the risk of

20 stating the obvious, a summary of that patrol?

21 A. Yes, that was -- obviously that was the intention for

22 that day, them timings.

23 Q. Well, just expand on that because you say the intention?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. What do you mean by that?

 

 

154

 

1 A. I see 19.00 there. 19.00, that was the time the task

2 was due to finish at and obviously that was the same day

3 as the incident.

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. So it probably could have run past that so that last

6 timing wouldn't be accurate. Certainly the out time

7 would be accurate, but not the in time.

8 Q. I won't take you to it, but in the statement that's on

9 the other side of the screen, you say that you remained

10 at the scene until 21.15 hours. So that's an example of

11 what you are telling us, isn't it?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Now, we have also got a map which I hope may help, which

14 we can just put up on to the screen, getting rid of

15 these two documents. And that map is the RIR call sign

16 locations map (displayed). Thank you.

17 Quite a lot of information there. But let's just

18 have a look at it slowly. We will deal perhaps with the

19 right-hand side of the screen in a little moment. But

20 on the left-hand side or the left two-thirds of the

21 page, we can see that first of all it is a map of the

22 Lurgan area; yes?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. We can see Ashford Grange; yes?

25 A. Yes.

 

 

155

 

1 Q. And we can see in the boxes activities of units of your

2 patrol on 15 March in relation to a hoax device; yes?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Now, we will come to the right-hand side of that page in

5 a moment, but before we do, there is also a large

6 document which isn't on the system, but it is this

7 document which everybody has. I don't necessarily want

8 to take you to it at this stage, but this is a document

9 that everyone can see that suggests who was in which

10 call sign on 14 and 15 March.

11 Now, you heard about the explosion involving

12 Mrs Nelson whilst you were back at the Lurgan police

13 station; yes?

14 A. That's correct.

15 Q. And you went to the scene near Ashford Grange or at

16 Ashford Grange, didn't you?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. What was the purpose of you going there and you

19 attending the scene?

20 A. There obviously had been an incident and our job was to

21 react to that incident. When we did react -- nobody was

22 aware of what had happened.

23 Q. At the scene itself, you were assigned the task with

24 your fellow call signs, I believe, in providing cordons?

25 A. That's correct.

 

 

156

 

1 Q. And again, if we now look at the right-hand side of the

2 screen -- I'm not going to go through every single one,

3 but we can see boxes indicating which call sign was

4 providing a cordon and where the cordons were; yes?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And we can see bottom of the page, second box in from

7 the left, that L21A was conducting satellite protection

8 and that's why the analyst who has compiled this map has

9 drawn a two-way arrow -- yes? -- crossing Ashford Grange

10 to indicate movement?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. So just addressing that, your role as satellite

13 protection was just that, was it? That you -- I won't

14 use the expression roamed, but you moved about between

15 the different cordons, did you?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Were you ever stationary at one place or were you always

18 moving from cordon to cordon?

19 A. Initially, at the start I had been static where you can

20 see L20A's call sign, which is the -- if you look on the

21 right-hand side of the screen, do you see the three

22 boxes?

23 Q. It is the middle box.

24 A. It is actually marked for two of them. But the bottom

25 box, I might have been liaising there with the patrol

 

 

157

 

1 commander and then the decision was made then to use us

2 as satellite protection.

3 Q. Yes, but then what I'm asking you is did you then move

4 about at all times around the area?

5 A. We never stuck to anything rigidly. If there was comms

6 lost between one call sign on one side and one on the

7 other, then we would have moved across to pass the

8 message on verbally.

9 Q. So you would come into contact with the other call

10 signs. Was there in fact a difficulty with

11 communications?

12 A. There had been that day.

13 Q. You, probably necessarily -- I don't know -- can't go

14 into technical detail. Why was that? Was it a dead

15 spot?

16 A. That would have been normal in and around the Lurgan

17 area.

18 Q. That was simply like tuning a radio, you couldn't get

19 a signal?

20 A. Yes, basically.

21 Q. What was the atmosphere like at the scene?

22 A. I think it was pretty tense. Certainly -- not at the

23 initial time that it happened because obviously a lot of

24 confusion going on because nobody could really establish

25 what had happened immediately. But once people had

 

 

158

 

1 established what had happened, I think the word got out

2 then, it was very tense.

3 Q. And I think I'm right in saying that subsequently, later

4 on in the day, there was a degree of public disorder?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. Around this area; yes?

7 A. That's correct.

8 Q. Now, what would have been the procedure if you and your

9 unit, your call sign, had spotted a suspect or someone

10 of interest in terms of radioing that in or

11 reporting it?

12 A. We would have sent what's known as a live time sighting

13 and that would have been sent to the ops room or,

14 indeed, to Brigade headquarters.

15 Q. And if there had been a sighting and someone had said,

16 "We need to radio that in" and the response had come,

17 "It's a dead spot", what then would have been the

18 fallback position?

19 A. Then you would have sent it later on or put it on

20 a Charlie 1 and it would have gone with the patrol

21 report at the end of the patrol.

22 Q. So just so I understand it, there would have been

23 nothing unusual about there being a sighting, it being

24 impossible to radio it in, but it was written down on a

25 Charlie 1?

 

 

159

 

1 A. That certainly wouldn't have been unusual.

2 Q. If we can just look at this large sheet, if we look on

3 the right-hand side of it, at the top half, we can see

4 your call sign in the middle, L21G corps, yes?

5 A. That's correct.

6 Q. A189, A507, A530, and then Mr Jopling, yes?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Do you recollect Mr Jopling?

9 A. Yes, I can recall Mr Jopling being there that day.

10 Q. He was a spotter, wasn't he?

11 A. Yes, he was RMP.

12 Q. If you look at the box immediately to the right of that,

13 L21B, we can see the personalities there and you have

14 got your cipher list and we can see the second head and

15 shoulders down is A620. So you can see who that is?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Yes? Again, knowledge, recollection?

18 A. Yes, I know this man.

19 Q. Now, I'm going to, as I have done before, put to you

20 a version of events to try and elicit your comment and

21 assistance with it. So bear with me. It has been

22 suggested by Mr Jopling that whilst he was at the

23 scene -- yes?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. -- he spotted or saw two persons of interest, as we have

 

 

160

 

1 just discussed, suspected Loyalist terrorists. And

2 there was a refusal or reluctance on the part of A620 to

3 radio that through; yes?

4 A. Okay, yes, I'm with you.

5 Q. So let's just split that into theory and reality; yes?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Reality: did you know about that at the time? Did you

8 hear anything about that at the time?

9 A. At the time, no.

10 Q. So you didn't hear the conversation?

11 A. No, I wasn't -- I wasn't close enough to hear that.

12 Q. If, indeed, it took place?

13 A. Exactly.

14 Q. But subsequently, I think you are going to say that you

15 perhaps did hear something about it?

16 A. It may have been said in a debrief, after we had come

17 in -- maybe not there immediately, but maybe a day or

18 two later.

19 Q. That's helpful. Let's, again, just break that down.

20 A day or two later; yes?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. A debrief of whom, all the call signs?

23 A. No, the debrief would have taken place immediately after

24 the patrol.

25 Q. I'm sorry, what was the reference to a day or two later?

 

 

161

 

1 A. You asked me had anything been said about the

2 conversation that maybe took place between Mr Jopling

3 and A620.

4 Q. So you are saying you were told about the debrief

5 a couple of days after?

6 A. No, we were debriefed after the patrol and then a few

7 days later what you are talking about had come to light.

8 Q. Let's deal with the debrief. Was it mentioned at the

9 debrief?

10 A. No.

11 Q. How was it mentioned a couple of days later?

12 A. It had come to light that apparently there was

13 a sighting that hadn't been sent, and I think it was

14 the -- it was Jopling had mentioned this at the site and

15 it hadn't been sent, which wouldn't have been unusual

16 for that to have happened, as I have already explained,

17 because of comms and given the effect of what was going

18 on as well.

19 Q. But -- and let me ask you this because this is the

20 point -- it would have been unusual, would it not, had

21 there not been a problem with the communications?

22 A. Would it have been sent?

23 Q. Yes.

24 A. Of course it would have been sent, it should have been

25 sent, yes.

 

 

162

 

1 Q. I have mentioned the reality and the theory. Let's look

2 at the theory of this. If someone is spotted, it should

3 be sent through, unless there is a good reason not to?

4 A. Yes, and a very good reason would have been the fact

5 that there was an incident ongoing.

6 Q. And as far as you are concerned, looking beyond this

7 isolated incident, have you ever experienced a situation

8 where, for a sinister reason, favouritism, if you like,

9 someone has given someone a free pass and said we will

10 not radio that in or we will let them through a vehicle

11 checkpoint?

12 A. I would say no to that.

13 Q. You have never heard of that happening?

14 A. I have never heard of that.

15 Q. As far as A620 is concerned, Mr Jopling also expressed

16 the view that perhaps there was a bias in terms of

17 sectarian divide on the part of A620. Can you add

18 anything to that?

19 A. Not for me personally, no, there is not -- I wouldn't

20 have got that.

21 Q. You knew him?

22 A. Yes, I knew him but I wouldn't have got that from him.

23 Q. You didn't form that impression?

24 A. No.

25 Q. No. Staying with the scene but moving away from your

 

 

163

 

1 colleagues, there is another matter I would like to ask

2 you about -- and you can see on your cipher list C150 at

3 the bottom there?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And you know who that is?

6 A. Yes -- well -- yes, I know of him.

7 Q. Now, again let me be clear before I go into this. It is

8 not being suggested that you yourself are involved in

9 this, but I just again want to ask you because you were

10 present at the scene providing satellite cover: this

11 witness has also given evidence that a soldier, someone,

12 not an individual, looked under Mr C150's car and said

13 words to the effect "The one we have put under this car

14 has fell off" and the soldiers that were with this other

15 soldier laughed. Is that something you have witnessed

16 or ever heard anything about?

17 A. No, that's certainly the first time I have heard that

18 being mentioned.

19 Q. Thank you. And the second incident that C150 talks

20 about is that as he and his wife were walking back up

21 towards the scene of the explosion, on Lake Street, some

22 Land Rovers came down the road and the back doors of one

23 of them came open and a doll was thrown out with no

24 legs, and one of the soldiers shouted words to the

25 effect of, obviously referring to Mrs Nelson:

 

 

164

 

1 "Go and scrape her up," or, "Go and cut her out."

2 Yes?

3 A. I understand what you are saying but I have never heard

4 that.

5 Q. You didn't witness that? You have never heard of that

6 taking place?

7 A. Definitely not, no.

8 Q. Did you in fact see C150 at the scene that day at all?

9 A. I can't recall actually seeing him there but I knew

10 where he lived and, yes, he maybe would have cause to

11 have been in and around the scene because he lived not

12 far away from it.

13 Q. But you yourself don't recollect seeing him.

14 A. No.

15 Q. There have also been some suggestions of inappropriate,

16 if you like, behaviour by members of the

17 Royal Irish Regiment at the scene. What do you have to

18 say about that? Did you witness anything of that kind?

19 A. No, I have never witnessed anything like that, and as

20 far as being a commander, I obviously tried to conduct

21 myself and my troops in a professional manner at all

22 times.

23 Q. In fairness to you, if I can now call up RNI-840-135,

24 paragraph 27 (displayed), we will go over the page in

25 a moment, you say this:

 

 

165

 

1 "I have been asked whether I recall seeing any Army

2 personnel displaying a jovial or disrespectful attitude.

3 Certainly no one in my call sign was acting in this way.

4 There was nothing jovial about someone having been

5 murdered and us standing there at the cordon being

6 petrol bombed. I have also been asked whether I recall

7 having heard any inappropriate comments about Mrs Nelson

8 on the day of the murder. I do not recall this."

9 A. Yes, that would be my recollection.

10 Q. Those are the comments that you made in relation to

11 those suggestions in your statement to the Inquiry.

12 Now, thank you very much indeed for your patience

13 this afternoon. Before I conclude, it is always the

14 case that we say to the witness is there anything that

15 you would like to add or say that you don't feel you

16 have been given the opportunity to comment on. So I'm

17 going to ask you that now?

18 A. No, there is nothing I would like to add.

19 Q. Thank you very much indeed. I don't know whether there

20 are any more questions for you?

21 Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN

22 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Could you say a little bit more

23 about how well did you know either Mr Jopling or A620?

24 You mentioned you knew both of them, just how deep, as

25 it were --

 

 

166

 

1 A. Well, Mr Jopling would have been -- he was only an

2 attachment to us so he wouldn't have been with us all

3 the time. I think their tour of duty was six months, so

4 over a six-month period I maybe had call for him to be

5 with us maybe 10 or 15 times. It depended on what we

6 were doing, but A620 was a member of my platoon, he

7 would have been a lance corporal on my platoon. I knew

8 him pretty well and I would say I have known him maybe

9 10 years.

10 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Would you count him as a friend as

11 well as a colleague?

12 A. No, I wouldn't say he was a friend, no.

13 DAME VALERIE STRACHAN: Thank you.

14 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for coming to give

15 evidence before us.

16 Before the witness leaves, can the video engineer

17 please confirm that all the cameras have been switched

18 off?

19 THE VIDEO ENGINEER: Yes, sir.

20 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please escort the witness out.

21 10.15 in the morning.

22 (4.11 pm)

23 (The Inquiry adjourned until 10.15 am the following day)

24

25

 

 


 

1 I N D E X

2
Housekeeping ..................................... 1
3
MR IAN HUMPHREYS (sworn) ......................... 1
4
Questions by MR PHILLIPS ..................... 1
5
Questions by SIR ANTHONY BURDEN .............. 78
6
Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN ........... 79
7
P614 (sworn) ..................................... 81
8
Questions by MR SAVILL ....................... 81
9
Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN ........... 126
10
A189 (sworn) ..................................... 129
11
Questions by MR SAVILL ....................... 129
12
Questions by DAME VALERIE STRACHAN ........... 165
13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25