Statement on behalf of Kathryn Johnston in respect of revelations in today’s Belfast Telegraph


“The revelations outlined by Mr Larmour are a testament to his dedication in recovering the truth but are an indictment as to how the police did not do the job that they were professionally obliged to do in the first instance.  That this weapon is currently being used for police training purposes beggars belief.  It is like using a knife to stab someone and then cleaning it and using it for your dinner.  I am shocked and devastated.  From my own perspective, with regards to the murder of my father, and the weapon that was used to kill my father having been returned to killers having previously been in the safe custody of  a police forensic unit (WERC),  it seems to me that the police don’t care about police killings.”


Kathryn Johnston – daughter of Constable Harry Beckett killed on 30th June 1990


“The admissions that a weapon used in several murders is now being used as a police training weapon is yet another shameful development in the state’s management of forensic evidence.  We have experienced the disclosure of weapons being returned to murder gangs, and other weapons actually being displayed as macabre trophies in the Imperial War Museum.  There is ambiguity as to the truth recovered by Mr Larmour and the account disclosed to our client in her HET report.  The HET report states that her father was killed by a Browning pistol that ‘had been stolen from one of the two Corporals’ who were abducted and killed in Andersonstown in March 1988.  However, the HET then proceeds to outline a ballistics history of use in a non-fatal incident on August 1988 and a murder in Belfast in October 1989.  Given the ambiguity that exists, and the previous disgraceful revelations in relation to this weapon and its management by WERC, we have sought an urgent meeting with the Police Ombudsman’s office, who are investigating the matter and we hope convene that meeting next week.”


Niall Murphy KRW LAW LLP