04 March 2006

More new evidence in teenagers' murders

Belfast Telegraph

By Chris Thornton
03 March 2006

More forensic evidence has emerged in the case of two teenagers murdered by loyalists, six years after police began investigating the killings.

The discovery is the second major advance by detectives within a week, but it prompted renewed calls for an explanation of why the evidence was not available earlier.

On Monday, the Belfast Telegraph revealed that a DNA link has been found between a suspect and David McIlwaine, one of the two teenage victims.

David and Andrew Robb were stabbed repeatedly by loyalists linked to the UVF outside Tandragee in February 2000.

David McIlwaine's father, Paul, has called on the Police Ombudsman to investigate the reasons why police did not act on the evidence earlier.

Mr McIlwaine has maintained for several years that he believed more evidence was available in the case.

A spokesman for the Ombudsman said an investigation into police handling of the case is continuing.

"We are aware of the issue which has been raised by Mr McIlwaine," he said.

"Our investigation is ongoing and as such it would be inappropriate to comment at this time." But Mr McIlwaine said he was told the Ombudsman's investigation had all but formally closed before these latest discoveries. He said he had been told that a draft report concluded that police carried out "a thorough and professional investigation".

The PSNI has refused to comment on the case.

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