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10 July 2003 Edition

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Former RUC man charged over Hamill killing

Former RUC member Robert Cecil Atkinson, his wife Eleanor Jean and Kenneth George Hanvey appeared at Craigavon Court on Thursday 3 July charged with perverting the course of justice into the investigation of the killing of Portadown Catholic Robert Hamill in April 1997.

Charges against the trio relate to a telephone call to the house of an alleged suspect just hours after the attack on Hamill, who died 12 days after being beaten unconscious by a loyalist mob in Portadown town centre as the RUC looked on.

49-year-old Atkinson and his wife, whose address was given as care of Portadown PSNI station, are alleged to have conspired with others, including Andrea McKee, of giving false information to the RUC between 8 September and 30 October about a telephone call made from their house on 27 April 1997 as to the identity of the person making the call.

52-year-old Hanvey, from Derryanvil Road, Portadown, is accused of giving false information on 25 November 1997 by claiming Michael McKee had made the call from a house on 27 April.

The case was adjourned until next month, when a date for a preliminary hearing will be set.

Robert Hamill, a father of three, was attacked by a loyalist mob yards from a RUC Land Rover in Portadown on 27 April 1997. He never regained consciousness and died 12 days later in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

Last year, Michael McKee of Pineview Heights, Gilford and Andrea McKee of Stabler Crescent, Garden Village in Wrexham, were sentenced after admitting giving false information over who made the telephone call in the wake of the Hamill attack.
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