Senior Garda appointed to examine why NI trial relating to murder of prison officer collapsed

Damien McLaughlin was acquitted of aiding and abetting the murder of David Black

Senior Garda appointed to examine why NI trial relating to murder of prison officer collapsed

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A senior member of An Garda Síochana has been appointed to look into why a trial in Northern Ireland relating to the murder of a prison officer collapsed.

41-year-old Damien McLaughlin from Dungannon was acquitted of aiding and abetting the murder of David Black.

The 52-year-old was shot dead on the M1 in Armagh while driving to work in November 2012.

The trial judge ruled that any conviction based on part of the evidence 'would be unsafe'.

Today, the prosecution told Belfast Crown Court it would not appeal the ruling.

In a statement this evening, gardaí said: "Assistant Commissioner [for] Special Crime Operations has been appointed to conduct a fact finding exercise into the circumstances, from a Garda perspective, that led to the dismissal of this case."