15 December 2005

Convicted killer was ‘£10 tout’ for police

Daily Ireland

Man worked for Special Branch

A Belfast criminal convicted of the manslaughter of an RUC officer was working for the Special Branch at the time of the killing, Daily Ireland can reveal.
Charles Malachy Pollock was jailed for 12 years in 2004 for causing the death of reserve constable Norman Thompson in August 2000.
Pollock smashed a car into the father of two while high on a cocktail of drink and drugs.
The 30-year-old had originally been charged with murder, however this was reduced to manslaughter on appeal.
Daily Ireland has learned that at the time of the smash Pollock was working for the Special Branch.
He was recruited as a ‘£10 tout’ in 1998 by a Special Branch detective whose name is known to Daily Ireland.
The monicker of a ‘£10 tout’ is given to informants who pass on low-grade information.
Pollock gave information to the RUC about republicans in his native west Belfast. In return he was allowed to drug-deal and escape prosecution for relatively minor crimes.
The informant was forced to move from the Turf Lodge area of west Belfast in 1999.
Neighbours threatened to picket his home in protest at his involvement in crime.
With the help of his Special Branch handler Pollock moved to the Holylands in the religiously mixed university area of south Belfast in October 1999. His change in address coincided with an influx of other criminal informants from west Belfast into the area.
No longer a source of information on the west Belfast IRA, Pollock was used by his handler in a bid to discredit republicans.
Pollock was still in the pay of the Special Branch when he got into a car outside his home on August 19, 2000, drove into west Belfast and knocked down constable Thompson.
He was disqualified from driving at the time and admitted in court that he had been “steaming”, “full of drink and drugs” and “just driving about the country wild”.
It was never mentioned at Pollock’s trial, appeal and sentencing that he was working for the Special Branch.
The killer’s original conviction for murdering constable Thompson was reduced to manslaughter at an appeal in October 2004.
As his life sentence was also reduced to 12 years he is eligible for release in 2006.

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