PSNI launch probe into ‘offensive’ photo claiming to be the body of LVF terrorist Billy Wright on Ten Year Challenge post

The PSNI is to investigate an ‘offensive’ post claiming to show the body of loyalist terrorist Billy Wright after he was shot.

The post shows a photo of the LVF leader in a familiar pose while he was alive side by side with another photo of what appears to be Billy Wright’s body shortly after he was shot.

Billy Wright

Billy Wright

The images (too graphic to publish) are captioned: “Ten Year Challenge - best one yet”.

The Ten Year Challenge asks that people show photos of themselves ten years ago and at present.

Wright (also known as King Rat) was shot dead in December 1997 at the Maze Prison.

Although realistic, is is understood the police do not regard the image depicted as a crime scene photo.

A PSNI spokesperson said this afternoon: “Police are aware of an offensive post that has appeared on social media, the contents of which are currently being examined.”

The Portadown terrorist was despised in Mid Ulster as he was linked to dozens of murders in the Mid Ulster area, although he was never convicted of any killings.

He was imprisoned for perverting the course of justice and threats to kill a woman.

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie said: “The images showing the body of Billy Wright who was murdered in the Maze Prison in 1997 are both shocking and disturbing.

“Who in their right mind would post such a vile picture knowing that the only people who will suffer from such an image will be his family and friends.

“I do not support the path Billy Wright took and I condemn the sectarian murder of over 20 Catholics he is linked to.

“For his crimes he was destined to face the justice system before he was murdered in the most cowardly and brutal fashion.

“Those who posted this picture are intent on driving us to a past nobody wants to return to and in that I ask for people not to share these images out of respect for the family and friends of Billy Wright.

“I also ask that the PSNI investigate how these, clearly official crime scene pictures, made their way into the public domain.”

DUP MLA Carla Lockhart said: “Unfortunately social media can bring out the worst in people. Regardless of how he lived his life Billy Wright left a family behind who will no doubt be hurt by those who seek to mock his death.

“These posts fuel hate and I believe it is a matter for the PSNI to investigate if these are genuine pictures and where they have emanated from.”