Detectives investigating the murder of prison officer David Black as he travelled on the M1 between Portadown and Lurgan have announced details of an increased reward on the 10th anniversary of his death.
The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Anthony Kelly made an appeal to the communities of both Cookstown and Lurgan to come forward with information regarding the investigation.
“Our investigation into David’s murder, is very much active. We continue to work tirelessly to bring those responsible before the courts.
“Today is a particular difficult day for David’s wife Yvonne and his children; Kyra and Kyle. They have endured an unimaginable degree of suffering and loss over the last ten years.
“We believe there are members of the communities of Lurgan and Cookstown who have information that will bring those responsible for David’s murder to justice. David, who was a loving husband and father, was murdered on his way to work to provide for his family. David’s family deserves closure and although it won’t bring him back, it will help bring those responsible before the courts. Time may have passed, but it is not too late to do the right thing for David’s family.
“To date, detectives have made 12 arrests – eight made by the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Serious Crime Branch in Northern Ireland and four made by An Garda Síochána in the Republic of Ireland. Numerous premises, vehicles and area searches have been conducted, as well as completing thousands of lines of inquiry and well over 1,000 statements have been taken.
“We would also like to thank our colleagues from An Garda Síochána , who have worked diligently with our officers in providing assistance with this investigation. We will continue to work closely with officers from An Garda Síochána to bring those responsible to justice.
“We are very grateful to the independent charity Crimestoppers, which is now offering an increased reward of up to £20,000 for information it receives that leads to the prosecution of those responsible.”
Mick Duthie, Director of Operations at the charity Crimestoppers, added: “This appalling crime, which stole a father and a husband from a family, sent shockwaves through Northern Ireland and beyond ten years ago. We hope that our charity’s reward for anonymous information will go some way to helping secure justice for David and his family and friends. With Crimestoppers, we don’t want to know who you are, only what you know.”
Detective Chief Inspector Kelly continued: “On Thursday 1st November 2012 David, who was a father-of-two, was shot and killed as he drove from his Cookstown home to work at Maghaberry prison in his black Audi A4 car along the motorway between Portadown (Junction 11) and Lurgan (Junction 10).
“The dark blue Toyota Camry used in the murder was in Lurgan prior to the shooting on the evening of 31st October 2012. The following morning, 1st November, less than one mile from the Lurgan exit on the M1 the dark blue Toyota Camry car with a Republic of Ireland registration, 94 D 50997, pulled alongside David Black and a number of shots were fired, killing him. The Toyota Camry was found burnt out in the Inglewood area of Lurgan a short time later at 7:45am. This was about 10 minutes after David’s murder a few miles away on the M1.
“I would appeal to people in Cookstown to think about what they saw in the days and weeks before David’s murder. Did you see any unusual activity around David’s home or the places he frequented? If you have any information, please contact us.
“Our investigation into David Black’s murder remains open and we will continue to explore all lines of enquiry and go where any evidence takes us. I would ask the communities in Lurgan and Cookstown in particular to provide any information to police which can help bring David’s killers before the courts. Information can be provided to detectives on 101.
“Alternatively, if you prefer to stay completely anonymous or are interested in the reward, contact Crimestoppers directly on freephone 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. There is no caller line display, no 1471 facility and computer IP addresses are never traced.”