Witness: Allister Campbell, full-time RUC Reserve Constable

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1 ROSEMARY NELSON INQUIRY Day 38 :19th June 2008 Witness: Allister Campbell, full-time RUC Reserve Constable The witness made a statement to the Inquiry dated 4th July Mr Campbell had become a full-time reserve constable in 1987; in 1996 he was allocated as a full-time constable to the station of Lurgan where he had remained until February As soon as he was stationed he became part of the Mobile Support Unit (MSU) doing ordinary section work on a shift basis. After three to four years he became Station Duty Officer. The witness stated that before joining Lurgan police station he had not heard of Shane McCrory nor had he known who Shane McCrory was at the time he collected him in a police car. In the MSU Mr Campbell would receive calls regarding accidents or any other incidents where ordinary uniformed police were called to attend to the public. Mr Campbell did his job in an armoured saloon car. He declared that, in 1997, police had a very difficult job due to active paramilitary units: any officer would have had to act with the utmost care in the delicate balance between securing public order and dealing with the security issue. Mr Campbell had not ordinarily dealt with terrorism-related matters; he was concerned with such issues when out on daily patrols but had never personally worked on those issues. He hadbecome familiar with the name of Rosemary Nelson through his work, as he did with other solicitors' names as he went along, but never actually saw Rosemary Nelson in person. It was Mr Campbell's role to interview suspects; if it was a serious offence, a CID officer would take part in interviews held in the custody suite. The witness added that he had never happened to interview a suspect who asked to see Rosemary Nelson as his solicitor and at no stage he had been told by any officer the kind of cases Rosemary Nelson dealt with. The witness said that at the time he was not aware she represented Colin Duffy. He had, however, heard of Colin Duffy in relation to his acquittal of a double [sic] murder in At the time of Colin Duffy's arrest, the witness declared that no police officer had told him that Mr Duffy was represented by Rosemary Nelson and that he had never heard any officer raise her name in the canteen or in any other social situation. A professional rapport would develop with the suspect's solicitors but this had never been the case with Rosemary Nelson. The witness agreed with Mr Savill's suggestion that there were no ill- feelings by the RUC towards the role of defence solicitors and of Rosemary Nelson in particular. Moving on with the questioning, Mr Campbell remembered driving up the town to collect Shane McCrory at the Wellworths shop after answering a call for assistance radioed by a police officer, Mr Borrows. The witness was driving the car which was also carrying Constable Meake and Constable P224: he had been friends with the constables for about six months. Until the incident at there was no entry in Mr Campbell's notebook of Mr McCrory s custody, as the witness said that only details worthwhile to be noted were recorded. Mr Campbell was unsure of the exact seating of Mr McCrory in the car; he would

2 have been quite certainly at the back, next to the arresting officer. Mr Campbell did not recall any officer saying words to the effect of Don't be asking for Rosemary or Rosemary won't help you this time nor could he recollect whether Mr McCrory had asked for Rosemary Nelson as his legal representative. Mr McCrory alleged that someone in the front seat said Because she will be dead. Mr Campbell said he had never heard what was being alleged, adding that if something like this had happened it would have been very difficult for the suspect to prove his allegations. Only when the form 17/3, dated 18th May1998, had been served on him was he made aware of what was alleged. He immediately thought it was just lies and got a bit annoyed but the fact that theallegations were unfounded contributed to containing his reaction. He asked either constable P224 or constable Meake, he could not remember exactly, to refresh his memory and only when one of them mentioned the collection of Mr McCrory at Wellworths could Mr Campbell remember the person in question. Mr Campbell admitted there was a strong bond between fellow officers but if he had witnessed anything like what was contained in the allegations, he would have immediately reported them to his sergeant. The witness was seen in another interview, extracts of which Mr Savill read out; in the interview Mr Campbell said not only that he did not remember any remarks being made against Rosemary Nelson but he thought that it would have been detrimental to his career even sitting in the car and allow that to happen: it would simply not be acceptable, he concluded on this point. Mr Campbell said he had no idea why Mr McCrory would have made such allegations, but he was also clear that numerous complaints had been filed by suspects no matter what crime they allegedly committed. As he was not dealing with terrorist-related crimes, he mentioned petty crimes and motoring offences, the so-called run of the mill suspects. The report of the Investigating Officer concluded that there was no evidence to support the allegations made by Mr McCrory; Mr Campbell had no further dealings with Mr McCrory but had been briefed on local terrorist suspects in his work: he never came across the name of Mr McCory again and for him the matter was over. Witness: P128 The witness statement was signed on 25th April The witness started as a full-time reserve officer in 1987; in 1997 he was a Detective Constable in the CID at Lurgan. The sort of work he was involved in concerned thefts, burglaries, robberies right up to serious crimes like murder. With the ceasefire, the workload related to terrorist activities diminished somewhat; the witness was at this stage dealing with more ordinary crimes. P128 admitted that at the time Lurgan was a difficult area to work in as paramilitary organisations were very active on both sides; it was a difficult enough position to work with on a daily basis. In 1997 he was a junior officer and was not particularly experienced in interviewing suspects: he was then starting out his career in CID so he would not have had vast experience in relation to interviewing. The witness confirmed that around the time in question, at Gough Barracks holding center it was customary not to tape the interviews.

3 He would take turns with another officer to write the summary of the interviews with a suspect. Mr Savill asked the witness about the procedure adopted in taking notes of the interview: P128 answered that the very first thing to be included would be the collection of the suspect from the cell for him to be taken to the interview room where he would be introduced, by name, to the officers that were to conduct the interview. The suspect, then, would be given a caution - Article 3 caution and Article 5 or Article 6 depending on the circumstances - and told why the interview was taking place. P128 was mainly in charge of taking the interview notes verbatim; according to the witness, it may have been possible that, on a few occasions, and if the suspect was called for another interview, some general conversation about sports and hobbies would ensue. In such cases, he would write in a paragraph that a general conversation took place because it was his duty to make as full note as possible of what was being asked and answered. There would normally be a briefing by the senior officer about the background of the case but, according to P128, no strategy was specifically adopted for each interview. The witness recollected Mr Toman being brought in on terrorist-related charges and admitted to feeling no extra pressure to get results: he had conducted himself with the same professionalism as it would be generally required in his position. P128 was present in 12 out of the 20 interviews with Mr Toman between 11th and 14th February 1997 and confirmed that at the end of each interview Mr Toman was given the opportunity to read the notes of the summary. The witness also confirmed that in 1997 his experience of interviewing suspects was limited and that he never came across suspects who wished to add or modify the information contained in the notes. Mr Toman did not take the opportunity to sign the notes; the witness thought it was a suspect s right to make any changes: if they refused to, however, he would not have particular thoughts or concerns. P128 also recollected that very often the suspect would ask to see his legal representative and that, unless there were extreme circumstances, the interview would commence regardless. P128 said he had a professional relationship with the solicitors of terroristrelated suspects, although they were less in number than the solicitors dealing with ordinary crimes. In 1997, the witness's only knowledge of Rosemary Nelson was that she represented clients with a criminal background right up to individuals who were brought in under the terrorist legislation. The witness said he knew that Rosemary Nelson was representing high-profile clients and that at the time he interviewed Mr Toman he was aware that Mr Duffy had been acquitted of the Lyness murder in November P128 declared that he had not formed any opinion of Rosemary Nelson on the basis of the clients she represented and that she was very professional in her job. The witness continued by saying that he had never discussed Rosemary Nelson and her work when socialising with other fellow officers nor had he ever heard officers do so in a pleasant or unpleasant way or express frustration or resentment at the type of clients she was representing and at the results she was obtaining. P128 said he knew that Rosemary Nelson was

4 representing Colm Toman and his brother and was aware that Mr Toman had made some allegations relating to his detention in July The witness denied any kind of threat or abuse either to Mr Toman or Rosemary Nelson at that time; when asked by Mr Savill whether he remembered interviewing Colm Toman, the witness replied that he remembered the interviews taking place. Mr Savill then called on to the screen the complaints form 17/3 filled by Colm Toman: the witness could not say that he specifically remembered that one. The allegations contained in the document referred to comments made about Rosemary Nelson being a friend of the Provos and of Colin Duffy; they also referred to the quality of her work and the fact that Rosemary Nelson would not have been able to get Mr Toman off. P128 denied both making and hearing any such views. Mr Savill warned the witness that the rest of the allegations were far more serious and went on summarisng them: Now, he says, as I say, that this took place on the second or the third day, and I will just tell you, I am afraid, what these are: that Rosemary Nelson had been part of an active service unit and the fire bomb had exploded causing scarring on her face; Rosemary Nelson had been beaten with an ugly stick; she was Colin Duffy's right-hand woman and that you, the police, would have her sorted out. She wouldn't be helping him, Mr Toman, out this time and that you, the police, would take her out. The witness said he had no recollection of that being said; if the allegations had been true, he continued, he would have taken all the procedural steps to report them appropriately to his superiors. He further denied ever hearing interviewing officers making threats to Rosemary Nelson's life or to Mr Toman's and being involved in physical abuse levelled at Mr Toman while he was in custody. Inquiry Counsel then asked the witness to try recollect what he looked like in 1997; P128 described himself as a 31 year old six-foot man; when prompted a comment by Mr Savill's descriptions given by Mr Toman in his allegations [black hair, skinny, 30s, clean shaven five foot seven and grey hair, grey beard, 5.8/5.9, heavily built] he replied that a number of officers could have corresponded to such descriptions; he admitted that the descriptions could be compatible with some of interviewing officers present at the time but denied once more that threats and/or remarks had been levelled at Rosemary Nelson. Asked by Mr Savill what he thought could be the reasons for a suspect to raise such allegations, if totally unfounded according to P128, the witness replied that it was a strategy from both sides of the sectarian divide to discredit the Royal Ulster Constabulary. While stating that it was a well-known tactic, P128 denied discussing it at any time with other officers, adding that he believed defence solicitors would not have had any part in this tactic. He never felt that defence solicitors had been used unwittingly by paramilitary organizations to further this tactic of discrediting the RUC: it could not be seen as anything that would actually have helped the suspect in relation to the offence with which he was charged. The witness concluded the questioning by Mr Savill by saying that he did not wish to add anything that had not been covered in the statement he gave to the Inquiry. Sir Thomas Burden asked the witness if he had received any training giving him instructions or advice about interviewing terrorist suspects: P128 replied he had only been trained on interview techniques of general

5 suspects, nothing more specific. On Sir Thomas Burden solicitation, the witness declared that the reasons why the officers present at an interview would not introduce themselves were various and depended on the circumstances. He would have, however, introduced himself at the commencement of an interview. Sir Thomas Burden concluded his intervention by asking the witness why, he thought, among all subjects and all issues, the paramilitary organizations would have decided to pick on defence solicitors if he had already said that he did not think they were involved in this alleged orchestrated campaign, and why pick on the disfigurement of a solicitor if that solicitor was not involved in it: the witness said he was unable to provide an answer. Mr Savill was then given the opportunity by the Chairman to pose further questions to the witness because, when the issue had been raised beforehand, P128 was not given a handout with the ciphered names of the officers involved in the interview. When reminded of the descriptions and with the handout in front of him, P128 declared that the description black hair, skinny, 30s, clean shaven, five seven would fit officers 128, 137 and 267. As for grey hair, grey beard, late 40s, five eight, five nine, heavy build, the indication of 225 was provided by the witness. P128 added that there was another officer whose name was not on the list he had just been given. With permission of the Chairman, Mr Savill asked the witness to write down the name on a piece of paper to be handed in to the Chairman. The Chairman at this stage said the Panel had already been made aware of the name produced by P128. As for a further description Scottish accent, bald, 30 to 40 years old, the witness indicated that he knew who that individual was. Mr Savill concluded that the identity of all the officers had been finally established.

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