New lead gives impetus in McCauley case as man lifted in Fountain

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A senior detective says the investigation into the sectarian murder of Paul McCauley has been given new impetus by those who came forward with fresh information in the wake of the 38-year-old’s death last month.

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey, from Serious Crime Branch, made the comments following the arrest of a 24-year-old in the Fountain area on Thursday, July 16.

“After Paul’s tragic death last month, the investigation has taken on a renewed impetus. We are following a definite line of enquiry and we are grateful to those individuals who came forward with information in the immediate aftermath of Paul’s death,” he said.

“But we can never have too much information about the events of that night nine years ago if we are to get justice for Paul. There may be other opportunities to gather information, either because of a change in someone’s circumstances or a qualm of conscience.

“This is a very challenging investigation, especially with the passing of time, but we are fully committed to exploring all avenues and opportunities and I would appeal to everyone in the community, if they have any information, come forward and contact detectives,” he added.

Paul died last month in a care facility almost nine years after an attack in July 2006.

Paul was 29 and attending a summer BBQ at the rear of a house in Chapel Road on July 15, 2006. At 3.20am on July 16, only three people remained at the BBQ.

A group of up to 15 people came from out of the bushes and attacked Paul and two of his friends. After the assault the group made off in the direction of Irish Street. The suspect was arrested in the Fountain area of the city this morning and has been taken to Strand Road police station for questioning.

Only one person, Daryl Proctor, was convicted for the murderous assault. He was jailed for 12 years but released earlier this year.

In its twelfth report the Independent Monitoring Commission suggested members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) had been involved in the attack.

In the 2006 report it stated: “UDA members were responsible for a number of sectarian attacks in the summer, including: one in Belfast in July (which was not, we believe, sanctioned at a senior level) in which a person was seriously injured; one in Ballymena in the same month; and a number in Derry during June and July, including the serious attack on Paul McCauley, for which we have no indication that there was senior sanction.”

Information can be given to the enquiry team at Maydown on the non-emergency, 101, or by calling Crimestoppers on 0800555111.