Family of man accuse PSNI of “conspiracy of silence” in death of west Belfast father

Posted By: November 24, 2016


John Hemsworth died in January 1998 six months after he said members of the RUC had attacked him as he made his way home from St. Gall’s GAA club.

The family of John Hemsworth has accused police officers of being part of a “conspiracy of silence”.

Mr. Hemsworth’s daughter Danielle welcomed the Police Ombudsman’s findings last night but said they were “deeply upset and concerned” that those responsible have evaded accountability and justice.

“At the very minimum if these serving officers cannot recall the assault on my daddy, despite numerous investigations and an inquest, then are they really fit to serve as police officers?” she said.

Her mother Collette Hemsworth said it had been an “emotionally exhausting journey in establishing the truth and the facts surrounding John’s death”.

“I was robbed of my loving husband and my daughter of her devoted father,” she said.

“Nothing can ever replace that aching gap in our lives.

“The cherished memories we have of John remain with us every single day. He was a wonderful human being who would not have harmed a living soul and yet he was so cruelly set upon.”

Relatives for Justice director Mark Thompson, left, said it was astonishing that none of the police officers interviewed could recall the incident.

“We find this situation beyond incredible.”

Meanwhile, the victim’s brother Paul Hemsworth said his father died earlier this without seeing the completed report.

“The RUC officer’s lack of cooperation since this time has led to an 18-year delay.

“My brother was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.

“Let this be on the RUC officers’ conscience.”