Police revisit Black murder scene

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DETECTIVES investigating the murder of prison officer David Black returned to the M1 between junction 11 (Portadown) and junction 10 (Lurgan) this morning (Thursday) where the prison officer was murdered a week ago by dissident republicans.

Officers imposed a 40mph speed limit on the stretch of motorway between the two junctions where Mr Black’s Audi was approached by a dark blue Toyota Camry and a number of shots fired. This morning (Thursday) a series of electronic signs ran a sequential message appealing to motorists for information. At the Lurgan off-slip, a mobile appeal poster was positioned to reinforce appeal messages.

Police also mounted checkpoints at a number of locations close to the motorway. Motorists were stopped, spoken to and given leaflets appealing for information.

Police also stopped cars in the Annesborough Road area of Lurgan as part of enquiries to determine whether this was the getaway route used by the killers in their dark blue Toyota Camry car before it was found burnt out in the Inglewood district of the town.

Assistant Chief Constable for Crime Operations, Drew Harris, on a visit to the scenes this morning (Thursday), said: “The investigation into David Black’s murder is substantial and it is complex. We are working closely with colleagues in a number of partner agencies, most notably An Garda Siochana, to follow various lines of enquiry.

“We have a large amount of CCTV material to analyse in relation to Mr Black’s Audi, registration number HHZ 1560, and the killers’ Toyota Camry which had a Southern registration number 94 D 50997.

“We really do need to hear from anyone who has any knowledge about the Camry car in the days leading up to the murder or who saw it on Thursday morning.

“We also need to speak to anyone who was on the motorway travelling eastbound towards Belfast last Thursday morning whether they joined it at Tamnamore, Loughgall, the Birches or Portadown.

“We are grateful to people who have co-operated with our enquiries in the past week. The assistance of local people will be vital if we are going to bring those responsible before the courts.

“I would ask people to bear with us and to work with us in the coming days. We will do our utmost to keep any disruption to an absolute minimum in terms of search activity and operational deployments such as this morning’s traffic operation. We are doing this because we believe it may be of assistance in catching David Black’s killers. We apologise for any delays or disruption but this is a murder investigation.

“We are also committed to deploying every lawful opportunity to apprehend the killers as this investigation develops in the weeks ahead. I would remind people there is a £10,000 reward available from Crimestoppers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.”

Information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or members of the public can speak directly to police by phoning the Special Incident Room on 028 3831 5291.