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Joint statement from the Lorimer Family

The Lorimer Family have their disgust at the ‘cloak and dagger’ approach being adopted by the Justice system in Northern Ireland towards the murder of Andrew Lorimer. They have been supported in their fight for justice by Upper Bann MLA. Jo-Anne Dobson.

We the family of Andrew Lorimer, murdered at his home in Lurgan in February 2012, wish to make the following statement.

As a family we wish to express in the strongest terms our deep disgust at the 'cloak and dagger' approach being adopted by the Justice system in Northern Ireland towards our beloved Andrew.

It was with great distress that we learnt last night that a Police Ombudsman's investigation had been conducted into a PSNI call handler who failed to pass on all information from a 999 call made following the assault on Andrew.

No one, either from the PSNI, the Department of Justice or the Police Ombudsman's office even thought to let us, Andrew's family, know. This is both insensitive and uncaring – surely they have a duty of care to us, Andrew's grieving family.

It's as if Andrew became state property once he died and we no-longer have anything to do with him.

We grieve for Andrew every single day, but the ripples of hurt continue and are only compounded by us not knowing what revelations will emerge next and from where.

Whilst we learn from reading in our local newspaper that the Ombudsman's investigation has decided that the PSNI's negligence did not contribute to Andrew's death –how will we ever truly know.

Andrew's body was not discovered until 2 days after this 999 call was made – surely if it had been correctly handled by the PSNI we could have our Andrew with us now– we will never know.

Alongside our MLA Jo-Anne Dobson we met with David Ford the Justice Minister last week at Stormont – he didn't say a thing to us about this Ombudsman's investigation –either he didn't know about it or wasn't prepared to say.

We even told him at the meeting that we were concerned about the lack of information coming to us as a family, but it's as if we don't matter.

Our fight for justice in Andrew's memory continues – we will not remain silent while we continue to be treated with contempt by those who are supposed to be working for justice for him.

Andrew has no voice, he was ours – we will always treasure him memory.

Commenting Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson who is supporting the families fight for justice for Andrew said:

“I met this morning with David and Julie Lorimer and join them in their shock and disgust at the lack of information which they, Andrew’s loving family, are receiving.

“It was a total shock to us to learn through the local media that the Chief Constable had initiated a Police Ombudsman's investigation into a PSNI call handlers apparent negligence following the 999 call made after Andrew was assaulted.

“This lack of courtesy and respect shows a total disregard for the feelings of Andrew's family.

“There appears to have been a total breakdown in communications by the PSNI whose actions may well have contributed to Andrew's death. His flat was burgled after the assault – this contributed to forensic difficulties because evidence was destroyed, hampering the investigation.

“We will now never know whether earlier attendance at the scene by the PSNI could have either saved Andrew's life or at least prevented the burglary of his flat –preserving evidence which could have been used against those who murdered Andrew.

“I have written today to the Justice Minister, the Chief Constable and the Police Ombudsman on behalf of the Lorimer family expressing in the strongest terms their deep hurt at the way in which they are being kept in the dark. It is as if one side of the justice system doesn't know what the other is doing.

“The family have my full support as we work together to achieve the justice with their beloved Andrew deserves – I know their will not rest until this is achieved –neither will I.”

Ulster Unionists