PSNI pledges to investigate book claims over 2002 Londonderry murder

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The PSNI are to investigate claims made in a book about the murder of a civilian by a Real IRA booby-trap bomb in 2002.

The daughter of David Caldwell, a retired UDR man who was killed when he picked up a lunchbox packed with explosives at a TA base in Londonderry, welcomed news that the claims made by a former soldier about his murder in a book entitled ‘Charlie One’ would be investigated.

Written under the name ‘Sean Hartnett’ by an author claiming to have been a British soldier in a covert Army intelligence unit, the book contains details that suggest the Army could have saved Mr Caldwell’s life.

David Caldwell’s daughter, Gillian McFaul, reacted angrily when the book was published earlier this year, upset at the author for withholding the information about her father’s death for so long.

At the time, she called on the PSNI to get to the bottom of the book’s claims.

DUP MP Gregory Campbell wrote to Chief Constable George Hamilton on her behalf and has now received a reply from the PSNI, pledging to “conduct a further review of all pre-existing material, including the claims within the book” around the murder.

However, the work is to be carried out by the PSNI’s Legacy Investigation Branch, who have more than 1,000 cases within their remit.

“I am glad they have said they are going to look into what it says in this book about my father’s murder,” Gillian McFaul told the News Letter.

“We need clarity. I don’t know whether what it says in the book is true and the PSNI need to get to the bottom of it.

“I hope the PSNI are not trying to fob me off because I won’t let this lie.

“It was absolutely terrible when it happened. I lost my whole world. I was 14 and I was my father’s blue-eyed girl and for somebody to say, after all this time, that maybe they could have saved his life is just terrible.”

She added: “I want police to question the author of this book.”

Mr Campbell is backing the family. He said: “I welcome the confirmation that a review of available intelligence is to be conducted to establish whether it provides a basis for a further investigation.

“I would hope that this process can be conducted as quickly as possible given the ongoing pain the Caldwell family suffer whilst they await the conclusion of the process.

“Those responsible for the murder of David Caldwell were the terrorists who placed the bomb at the base. The ultimate goal of this entire process must be to see those terrorists identified and brought to justice.”