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Moy woman loses battle to have father’s killer – who sent threatening letter – sent back to prison

Denise Mullen

A Moy woman who received a threatening letter from her father’s killer has lost a High Court battle to have him recalled to prison.

Denise Mullen, who is also a Mid-Ulster councillor, challenged a decision by the Department of Justice not to revoke Garfield Beattie’s early release licence after he sent her a menacing note purporting to be from the East Tyrone branch of the UVF.

Beattie, of Moss Road in Portadown, served 16 years of a life sentence for three killings carried out by the so-called Glenanne gang at the height of the Troubles.

His victims included Councillor Mullen’s father, Denis Mullen, who was shot dead at his home near Moy in 1975.

Beattie received a 17-month sentence in December 2021 after being found guilty of attempting to intimidate Ms Mullen but has since been released.

Speaking after the decision of the High Court not to revoke Beattie’s licence, Ms Mullen, said: “I’m deeply hurt by today’s court decision.

“Garfield Beattie murdered my father in front of me when I was only four-years-old. He tried to murder my mother and he inflicted immeasurable damage on my mental health and that of my loved ones.

“Very recently I received a deeply disturbing threat against me from this man in the name of the East Tyrone Ulster Volunteer Force. This intimidation has had a serious effect on me since. It’s difficult to understand the decision of the High Court. Many others have had their Good Friday Agreement licences revoked for far less. Beattie, who had nine years in prison left to serve will now remain free, at large in my community.

“It’s especially difficult to hear Mr Beattie speak of his mental health in court given the impact of this threat against my family, his murder of my father and attempted murder of my mother. I am hurt and annoyed by this decision.

“I’ve spoken to my legal team and we intend to proceed with civil action. There are so many forgotten victims and survivors of the Troubles. It is important that we create a system whereby those affected can pursue justice. My father was a great man, who opposed violence and fought for peace. I remain committed to fighting for truth, justice and reconciliation in our community.”

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