Northern Ireland

Ex PSNI man sent for trial over Castlerock brothel

Coleraine Crown Court
Image caption The accused was sent for trial at Coleraine Crown Court

A former award-winning police officer has been returned for trial in connection with the running of a brothel in Castlerock.

Chris Murdoch, 43, of Coleraine PSNI station, won awards for his work with the Chinese community.

However, after he was allegedly caught in a police sting in June 2008, he was charged with perverting the course of justice in relation to the brothel.

A judge ruled on Friday that he had a case to answer in a higher court.

Mr Murdoch, who has since left the PSNI, is alleged to have tipped off one of the prostitutes with whom he was also allegedly having a relationship.

While working in the police call handling office, he allegedly received a telephone complaint by a person calling himself Barney Glass "in relation to two girls in an illegal suspected brothel in a flat opposite Bertha's, or Love's Bar, in Castlerock".

At an earlier court hearing, which granted "Mr Glass" anonymity, it was revealed this was a pseudonym being used by an undercover officer working for the PSNI's professional standards department.

On 10 June 2008, Mr Glass allegedly made two calls to Mr Murdoch's police station to complain about the suspected brothel.

According to the charge, Mr Murdoch failed to tell his sergeant about "his relationship with one of the said girls who lived in the flat".

He is also accused of not telling him about the telephone complaint and that he also allegedly "made a telephone call to one of the girls despite having been instructed not to discuss any information relating to the matter outside Coleraine PSNI call handling office."

Mr Murdoch, who was granted legal aid, was released on bail.