Involvement of UVF man Robin Jackson

14 December 2011

A critical finding in the HET report concerns the involvement of former UDR man (and UVF killer) Robin Jackson. This short statement gives an outline of the evidence linking him to the Miami Showband killings. More detailed evidence is available to journalists on request from the PFC/JFF members at today's press conference.

On Tuesday 18th May 1976, farmer, former "B. Special" and Ulster Service Corps member Edward Sinclair was arrested following the discovery of firearms, ammunition, explosives and bomb components on his land near Dungannon. The following day, a Luger pistol was also discovered at his farm along with a home-made silencer wrapped in black adhesive tape. A forensic examination of the gun, silencer and tape revealed two fingerprints, matching Jackson's, on the silencer's metal barrel. The exhibit was then mistakenly labelled indicating the prints had been found on the TAPE (not the barrel). Police made several abortive attempts between 20th and 30th May 1976 to arrest Jackson. On May 31st, Jackson was arrested.

The same day the corrected information reached a Detective Superintendent that Jackson’s fingerprints had been found, not on the tape, but on the silencer barrel. The following day, this Detective Superintendent (and a Detective Constable) interviewed Jackson. Jackson denied ever having been on Sinclair's farm (while admitting he knew him through a Loyalist Club in Portadown). The Detective Superintendent placed the Luger, silencer and magazine (but not the tape) on the interview table. Jackson denied handling them. The Detective Superintendent asked him if he could offer an explanation, should his fingerprints be found on either the pistol or the silencer (or both). Jackson again denied he had handled the items but then volunteered information that, one night at the Portadown loyalist club, Sinclair had asked him for some tape and: "I gave him part of the roll I was using in the bar" (Jackson's words). In his subsequent statement, Jackson said that a Detective Sergeant and a Detective Superintendent (not those interviewing him) had told him on the 24th May (a week before his arrest) that his fingerprints had been found on tape on a silencer. He went on to say that the same RUC officers had told him "I should clear as there was a wee job up the country that I would be done for and there was no way out of it for me".

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