Man arrested in probe into mysterious death of ex-republican prisoner

The late Gerard 'Shorty' Hampson.
The late Gerard 'Shorty' Hampson.

It’s understood a man has been arrested as part of an investigation into the death of a former republican prisoner from Derry whose body was washed up on the shores of Lough Neagh eight years ago.

Gerard ‘Shorty’ Hampson’s naked body was discovered on an isolated stretch of shoreline near Toome in January 2008.

Earlier this week, a 49-year-old man was arrested in the Maghera area and was later released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service.

A police spokesperson said he was detained “as part of renewed enquiries into the unexplained death” of Mr. Hampson.

At the time, police said they were not treating his death as suspicious.

However, Mr. Hampson’s family believe there may have been foul play in his death.

He was understood to have a morbid fear of water and the discovery of his body in Lough Neagh raised suspicions with family and friends.

When he went missing in November 2007, Mr. Hampson, who had been living in the Northland Road area of the city, was wanted for questioning about the abduction of a couple in Co. Westmeath.

The couple, a man and a woman, were tied up, hooded and driven 140 miles to Derry where the man was shot and assaulted.

It’s understood Mr. Hampson was last seen after being dropped of at a bust stop at the Castledawson roundabout in south Derry.

It’s believed a Police Ombudsman report into how the PSNI handled the case is due to be published some time soon.