Son of couple shot by UVF wins legal battle to challenge ‘failings’ in State investigation
A MAN who believes loyalist paramilitaries colluded with security forces in murdering his parents has won High Court permission to challenge alleged State failures to oversee and fund an effective investigation.
Anthony Fox was granted leave to seek a judicial review amid claims he has been let down by a dysfunctional and chronically under-resourced system for probing the killings.
A judge yesterday ruled he has established an arguable case in legal action being taken against the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), Stormont’s Department of Justice (DoJ), the PSNI and Coroner’s Service.
His parents, Catholic couple Charles (63) and Theresa Fox (53), were shot dead by a UVF gang at their home near Moy, Co Tyrone, in September 1992. The rifle used in their murders has also been linked to at least eight other assassinations in the Mid-Ulster area.
Lawyers for Mr Fox described the case as a root and branch challenge to how the system for investigating legacy deaths is al- legedly failing victims. During the hearing it was claimed the NIO and DoJ have provided inadequate resources to investigate deaths in a prompt, independent and effective manner, as required under human rights law.
Probes carried out by the PSNI’s Historical Enquiries Team lack sufficient independence and have been undermined by a reliance on out-of-date ballistic evidence that has now been discredited, according to Mr Fox’s legal team.
Police at the time wrongly identified the weapon used in his parents’ killings. The misidentification of the Czech-manufactured rifle only emerged in 2013 during the inquest of another suspected victim of the same Mid-Ulster UVF gang.
Pensioner Roseann Mallon (76) was shot dead as she watched television at a house near Dungannon in May, 1994.
The inquest into her murder heard the gun was part of a consignment brought to Northern Ireland by Army agent Brian Nelson.
In a ruling, the judge concluded that leave to apply for judicial review should be granted. A date for a full hearing may now be fixed next month.
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