THE son of a Co Tyrone couple who were shot dead by the Mid Ulster UVF is to take legal action after discovering a police notebook, containing his personal details, was in the hands of the same organisation who murdered his parents.
Republican Paddy Fox, whose parents Charlie and Theresa were shot dead by loyalists at their home outside the Moy in 1992, said he was warned by police in 2004 that he might be under threat from loyalists.
However at no stage, he claims, was he told that his details were contained in a PSNI notebook which loyalists had in their possession.
The Irish News has seen the police notebook which contains details of police operations and briefings, along with lists of names, addresses and car registrations.
Person details related to Paddy Fox, whose parents were murdered by the UVF, were contained in the notebook.
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The book, which appears to be briefing notes from a serving police officer, gives details of Mr Fox’s address and also contains the make and colour of the car he was driving.
Other names on a ‘watch list’ are well known republicans Kevin Barry Murphy, Aidan Grew and Barry Morgan.
All the names are listed with dates of birth, addresses and in some cases car makes and registrations.
It is not known how the notebook found its way into the hands of loyalists.
But it is believed that none of those whose details were in the book were informed of the security breach.
Republican Paddy Fox (pictured above) Mr Fox said: “In the past I have been informed by the police that my details were in the hands of loyalists but at no time was I ever told how they got them.
“It now seems the details were from the very people issuing me the warnings. There needs to be some accountability for this,” he added.
The notebook also details a briefing by now retired former Special Branch officer Alan Mains, the former senior police officer now works as a security consultant.
Included among briefings is one delivered to officers in relation to an attack on Randalstown Police Station.
In October 2004 a family was held hostage by an armed gang who stole their van to mount a drive-by shooting on the Co Antrim police station.
Three children, aged between five and seven, and a couple were held hostage in the house during the incident.
No-one was injured as four shots hit steel gates at the front of the police station.
Details of the attack are in the notebook listing six homes to be searched in the hunt for ‘items weapons munitions explosives, any item that can be of use to terrorists’.
It is the third reported data breach involving the PSNI in the last four months.
In July The Irish News reported that hundreds of pages of data were leaked to loyalist paramilitaries, after equipment seized as part of an investigation into organised crime was returned with a pen drive attached containing information on private individuals and local companies.
Both the Police Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner are investigating the data breach.
In September a police notebook was lost during searches by the Paramilitary Crime Task Force into the activity of the South East Antrim UDA.
It contained information on suspects as well as some personal details relating to the female officer who lost the notebook.
Despite police appeals for the notebook to be returned it has yet to be recovered.
Peter Corrigan of Phoenix Law, which represents a number of those named in the latest breach, said last night: “We will be taking civil action against the PSNI and Chief Constable for this very serious data breach, that potentially resulted in at least one of my clients being told he was under threat from loyalists back in 2004.
“The PSNI had a duty of care to inform those listed in this notebook at the time that they had lost their private details and failed to do so”, he added.
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd last night said police were investigating.
“We have conducted preliminary inquiries but given the timescale involved, we have not been able to confirm the loss or theft of a police notebook from this period or area,” he said.
“Our enquiries are continuing.”
With many thanks to: Allision Morris and The Irish News for the original story.