'Forensic opportunities' in 1987 murder

Published Thursday, 20 March 2014
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One of the UK's top pathologists has said forensic evidence may have been missed in the unsolved murder of a 23-year-old woman in north Belfast 27 years ago.

'Forensic opportunities' in 1987 murder
Lorraine McCausland was battered to death in north Belfast in 1987. (© Pacemaker)

Lorraine McCausland was returning from a night out when she was beaten to death. Her body was found dumped near a stream in Ballysillan not far from the local drinking den she had been in.

The main suspect in her killing was a leading member of the UDA.

An investigation by the Historical Enquiries Team in 2009 couldn't confirm collusion, but they did tell the family that, while the main suspect was not an informer in March 1987 when Lorraine was murdered, he was by April 1987.

The Police Ombudsman is now reviewing claims by the family that police did not do enough to find her killers.

At the request of her family, Dr Nat Cary - who has worked on cases such as Ian Tomlinson's, who was attacked by police in a G20 protest in London, and the murders of Soham schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman - has reviewed the murder investigation.

He believes she may have been raped by her murderer.

Dr Cary asked why police, in his words "so readily accepted consensual sexual activity" in the case, which could have been "rape or attempted rape".

Questioning some of the findings of the post-mortem examination, he also concluded there "may still be some forensic opportunities".

Dr Cary's letter is being sent to the PSNI, as the family's solicitor Padraig O'Muirigh believes there is now compelling case to reopen the police investigation.

"This is one of the most tragic cases over the course of the last 40 years and in my view it's one of the most shameful police investigations in that period as well," he told UTV.

"Despite the forensic opportunities, despite the fact that the dogs in the street seemed to know who was involved with this murder and other linked murders, there have been no convictions to date. Hopefully a new investigation will change that."

© UTV News
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5 Comments
geraldine robinson in facebook north belfast wrote (80 days ago):
i hope they get every 1 of the scumbags that took that young woman,s life,they deserve a life snetance for what they done.r.i.p.
Scott Kane in Belfast wrote (129 days ago):
The uda never claimed this murder so the people involed have no right to say it was trouble's related. So in the name of justice when the police do re open this case and the perpetrator's are caught. None if this two years and out. So if there is anyone that was involed that was not or has not been a member or even if they are a member, they need to go to the police now!!! The net is closing in anyone that was involed even on the fringes need to come clean now, life in jail now for any of those a involed now that they are all 50 plus!!! Enough said !
ally in belfast wrote (130 days ago):
never give up hope cathy, one day someone will pay for lorriane,s murder. you are a very brave lady and people support you 100%.
lucylou in belfast wrote (130 days ago):
I really hope DNA evidence is found and able to identify the person who did this. No-one should be unaccountable for murder.
charlie in belfast wrote (130 days ago):
great piece last night on the brutal and senseless murder of a innocent mother of 2 maybe now the psni will do their job and convict these hoffific murderers .matt baggot get your finger out.
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