August 3, 2008

37

SPECIAL

REPORT
IN CHARGE: Det. Supt Karen Baxter

ON YER BIKE OR NOT FOR DIM THIEVES
By STAFF REPORTER
DOZY burglars who broke into a motorcycle shop were forced to dump a machine they stole – as it had no petrol! The owner of the Ballymoney business, who lives in the same building, was woken last weekend to the sound of breaking glass. When he went to investigate, he discovered that the 12ftx6ft front window of McKillop’s had been smashed.

NAMED: Paul ‘Chico’ Hamilton (above) and Jim ‘Filter Tip’ McCarthy (below)

Breeze
The culprits used breeze blocks to gain entry to the Derrykeighan premises before making off with a Hyosung 125cc motorcycle. During the course of the burglary, a foot peg and a wing mirror were broken off the vehicle. A short time later, the bike was recovered from a ditch close to the scene of the theft. A number of items were removed from the shop for forensic examination. “This was either highly unprofessional or a drunken escapade,” a police spokesman said. “We are pursuing an active line of enquiry at the moment.”

By JOHN CASSIDY

A SENIOR female PSNI detective on the trail of organised crime gangs is now spearheading a police probe into the abduction of IRA agent Martin McGartland.
Det. Supt Karen Baxter is to fly to London shortly to re-interview Special Branch spy McGartland over his kidnapping by Jim ‘Filter Tip’ McCarthy and Paul ‘Chico’ Hamilton 17 years ago
McGartland – codenamed ‘Agent Carol’ – has claimed neither were charged with his abduction because they were both working as highly paid security force agents inside the IRA’s so-called ‘Nutting Squad.
Last month, two detectives from Antrim Road CID flew to England and interviewed McGartland at a top security London police station. However, the 38-year-old was informed this week that his complaint has now been handed over to the specialist Crime Operations Branch based at Knocknagoney in east Belfast.

Informed
“I was informed on Tuesday by Antrim Road CID that the matter was being discussed that afternoon with Crime Operations Branch,” McGartland said. “The following day I was told that Det. Supt Karen Baxter of Crime Operations Branch was now in charge of my complaint. “She has appointed a detective inspector at Crime Operations to review all the files on my case before comes to see me. “Even though I have already given a statement to Antrim Road CID, Supt Baxter said she will be personally coming to London to take a much more detailed statement from me about my abduction.’’ The files to be reviewed will be the original CID investigation into his kidnapping along with top secret Special Branch intelligence files on his abduction. On August 7, 1991, McGartland was at his mother’s west Belfast home when a woman he knew as ‘Carol’, an IRA messenger in her 20s, called to tell him: “You have to go and see Padraig Wilson at Connolly House…at ten tomorrow morning.’’ Connolly House was Sinn Fein’s headquarters in west Belfast and Padraig Wilson was head of the IRA’s Civil Administration Team, its internal discipline department. McGartland suspected trou-

Crime gang boffin to head McGartland case
ble and headed home to use a secret SB radio to contact his handler ‘Felix’ to seek his advice. He told his handler: “Felix, I am in loads of trouble…’’ In his book, Fifty Dead Men Walking, he details how he went to Connolly House only after ‘Felix’ assured him of his safety. When he went the following day, he was met b y two IRA members, Jim ‘Filter Tip’ McCarthy and Paul ‘Chico’ Hamilton who told him the meeting venue was changed. He decided to go with them and the three left Connolly House in a waiting car driven by McCarthy which “sped’’ off faster than McGartland had expected to Broom Park in Twinbrook.

TOP ’TEC TO QUIZ SPY ON MURDER BID
Kitchen
After spending a few minutes inside the flat, McCarthy, Hamilton and a third unnamed man came out of the kitchen. “Listen,’’ said Jim, “Provisional IRA. You’re under arrest.’’ Writes McGartland: “I could see them shaking. Then McCarthy pulled out a hand gun and said ‘Lie face down on the floor and don’t try anything’ as I felt the stub of the automatic p u s h e d against my head.’’ After

POLICE BRING HOME DRUNK 12 YEAR OLD
By STAFF REPORTER
A 12-YEAR-OLD boy had to be taken home by police after he was found drunk in the street. The youngster was discovered staggering alone through the streets of Ballymoney last Friday night. A concerned member of the public contacted police who picked him up in the Castlecroft area around 8.30pm. Officers found the child was drunk and took him home but he had no alcohol on him and refused to say where he had been drinking. Less than 24 hours later, four 17-year-old girls were found with alcohol in the Seymour Drive area. The four girls and the 12year-old have been reported to the local PSNI Youth Diversion Officer. “There is underage drinking in Ballymoney and in many other towns. It’s almost a cultural thing in this area,” a PSNI spokesman said.

removing his trainers and emptying his pockets, he was forced to lie down on the sofa. “Every few minutes ‘Chico’ would remind me: ‘Remember Marty, we have got a gun, so don’t try anything.’’ Desperate to go to the toilet, McGartland asked his captors to use the bathroom and it was here he made good his escape, jumping 40ft from a window to the ground below. He was later taken to hospital but was spirited out off an intensive care ward to Palace Barracks where he was debriefed by Special Branch. McGartland said he believed neither ‘Filter Tip’ McCarthy nor ‘Chico’ Hamilton were arrested because they were also British agents. “They went across the border after my abduction and were never arrested for questioning, even though the RUC knew they had abducted me,’’ said McGartland. “They should not be allowed to get away abducting someone and get on with their lives as if nothing happened.”
john.cassidy@nth.sundayworld.com

Concerns
“We would have serious concerns about a 12-yearold being drunk.” But the spokesman added that police could tackle the problem of underage drinking on their own. “Educating young people is the key and we also need the help of parents who have a lot of responsibility to bear regarding where young people are and what they are doing.’’ “The licensed premises are not always to blame. Often older people in the group are buying the drink. “Our message is that if you buy drink for youngsters we will throw the full weight of the law at you.”

SPY: Martin McGartland

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