Northern Ireland

Gerard Hampson: 57-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder released

Gerard Hampson
Image caption Gerard Hampson's body was found on the shores of Lough Neagh near Toomebridge, County Antrim, in 2008

Police investigating the death of former republican prisoner Gerard Hampson have released a 57-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder.

The Londonderry man's naked body was found on the shores of Lough Neagh near Toomebridge, County Antrim, in 2008.

His family had reported the 53-year-old missing six weeks previously.

Mr Hampson was wanted for questioning in connection with an alleged kidnapping in Mullingar, County Westmeath, when he disappeared.

In 2016, a police ombudsman investigation into the search for the former republican prisoner heavily criticised the police reaction to his disappearance.

The then ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, said police made little effort to find Mr Hampson, and failed to conduct basic witness and CCTV enquiries because of a police belief he was "on the run and would turn up when it suited him".

This meant that opportunities to gather evidence were missed, and resulted in an "overall poor investigation, which failed the Hampson family".

Eight PSNI officers were disciplined in relation to the case.

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