29 May 2006

Barrett 'living on benefits in UK'

Sunday Times

**Maybe we should all chip in and send him a little something. I know I certainly would like to send him 'something', the same thing I would send Scap.

Liam Clarke
May 28, 2006

KEN BARRETT, the police informer who murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane, is living on benefits in England and has received no pay-off from the security forces, according to his lawyer.

In 2004, Barrett received a 22-year sentence after pleading guilty to Finucane’s murder. Last week the Sentence Review Board ordered his release under the terms of the Good Friday agreement after he had served less than three years.

Alex Maskey of Sinn Fein described Barrett’s release as a “further act of collusion” and claimed that the agent had been treated in the same manner as Brian Nelson, another loyalist informant who was the UDA’s intelligence officer at the time of Finucane’s murder and who was resettled after being released from jail.

“Nelson had also changed his plea to guilty in the last stages of his trial and was released during the late 1990s,” Maskey said. “He was relocated and was given a substantial financial package. There is no reason to believe that Barrett hasn’t been given the same treatment.”

Joe Rice, Barrett’s lawyer, flatly denied the claim. “My client received no resettlement package and he has told me that he is not expecting to do so,” he said.

Rice confirmed that Barrett has moved outside Northern Ireland but would not say where: He quoted Barrett as saying: “I have received no pay-off. I have seven pounds in my pocket, my partner is on benefit and I am currently making an application to claim benefit myself.”

Rice said the police position seemed to be that their duty of care ended when Barrett moved outside Northern Ireland and his safety was the responsibility of the authorities where he was living.

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