01 February 2006

Loyalist suspect on bail when schoolboy murder committed

An Phoblacht

Thomas Devlin murder - North Belfast loyalist chief suspect

02 February 2006

It has emerged that the main suspect in the sectarian killing of North Belfast schoolboy Thomas Devlin in August last year was on bail at the time.

The 20-year-old suspect, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was subsequently sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

According to neighbours of the North Belfast loyalist, he stabbed Devlin five times in the back as the schoolboy returned home from a garage where he had gone to buy sweets.

At the time of the sectarian killing the PSNI said the main suspects were two men who had been seen in the area.

Subsequently three men, including a juvenile, were arrested and questioned about the killing but were later released without charge.

An Phoblacht has been told that the killers are members of the UVF and its junior wing, the Young Citizen Volunteers and are known to the PSNI.

Members of the PSNI searched the suspect's flat on the loyalist Mount Vernon Estate two weeks ago.

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