Sitemap


Please note that text in red denotes my comments

The following article appeared on the front-page of the East Antrim Times on August 8th 1986 under the banner heading:

"Death Riddle


Policeman leaves dossier on alleged RUC corruption

The Newtownabbey policeman found dead last week on the loughshore at Whitehouse was buried on Tuesday amid sensational claims of corruption involving senior RUC officers.
And while the body of 43-year-old Robert Mervyn Patterson has been laid to rest, he has left behind him a tangled web which detectives investigating his death are anxiously trying to unravel.
Detective constable Patterson was found with a gun wound to his head at the foreshore of Belfast Lough, close to his home at Whitehouse Park, on Wednesday afternoon.
But the dramatic twist to his death became apparent when a Sunday newspaper revealed that since 1984 he had been supplying information he said backed his claims of corruption within the RUC.
According to the paper, Mervyn Patterson had threatened to commit suicide unless an investigation was carried out into his allegations. It was further claimed that some friends of the dead man believe he was murdered in a bid to silence him and keep the lid on a "cover-up" by senior officers.
The only comment police would make was to say that their investigations into the circumstances of the death are continuing. However, it is believed that those investigating the case are of the opinion that no crime has been committed and that the incident was a suicide.
The most vital clue is undoubtedly the gun used for the shooting, which, so far, the police have failed to trace.
This week officers were combing the loughshore area in a frantic effort to retrieve this missing link in their inquiries.
Police confirmed that the dead man was found with his feet and hands loosely tied, although investigating officers have not ruled out the possibility that Mr. Patterson could have done this himself.
It is also known that the detective's issued gun had been withdrawn from him, as he had been absent from work for a lengthy period due to sick leave.
It is believed that the former detective had been undergoing psychiatric treatment and recently spent more than three months in hospital.
East Antrim MP Roy Beggs told the Times that Mr. Patterson contacted him in March and since then they had exchanged regular correspondence. Mr. Beggs said the last letter he received from the detective arrived the day after his body was found and this had indicated that he was prepared "as a final protest" to take his own life.
The Official Unionist MP said: "This is an extremely sad case. The circumstances of the death will require further investigation. This week I will be meeting detectives and shall be handing over all the information given to me by Mr. Patterson to have it fully investigated."
Mr. Beggs added that he is not yet satisfied with the responses he has received from the RUC and he will be pressing the matter further.
Mr. Patterson's widow, Rosemary, declined to speak to the Times regarding her husband's death. She and their two children - Michelle and Neil - had been on holiday in Majorca, when they heard the tragic news and rushed home.
The funeral service at Wiltons Funeral Home in Whitehouse on Tuesday morning was private. Burial was at Carnmoney Cemetery."

Sitemap