PRESS STATEMENT in relation to the settlement of the Campbell family Civil Case, Monday 21 November 2022

There is something wrong with a society that forces the widow and children of Pat Campbell to have to take legal action against elements of that state to get some small level of satisfaction for the pain and hurt that was visited on the family late in the evening of Monday 29 October 1973 by then serving UDR member Robin Jackson (21 August 1973 to 4 March 1974) and other members of his UVF team.

On the night Jackson and his accomplice came to Margaret’s door they wore no masks nor any form of disguise, they were obviously confident that they would not be brought to justice for the murder of Pat.

Unfortunately even though Margaret was brave enough to enter the room that Jackson was in and identify him in the identity parade as the man who came to her door and killed her husband and that two police officers over-heard him say to himself “I am in trouble now because Mrs Campbell would remember the colour of every hair on the man’s head who had been at her door and shot her husband.”; the state conspired to ensure that Jackson didn’t stand trial for Pat’s murder.

Jackson’s name was known to the police within days of an ‘arms raid’ on a UDR Armoury in Portadown on 23 October 1973. On the 24 October the farm of a former UDR member was searched and guns and ammunition were found. The owner of the farm named Jackson as one of those who had taken the guns and ammunition to the farm for storage.

Pat Campbell was killed 5 days later, why was Jackson not arrested during those 5 days? If he had of been, Pat may still be alive today.

Jackson’s name was to become infamous throughout the period of the troubles. Unfortunately we will never know how many people he was responsible for killing, the figures range from 50 to over 100. What can be said is that if the state had done justice by the Campbell family many more families would not have suffered the loss of a loved one or suffered either physical or psychological injury at his hands.

It has long been suggested that Jackson was an agent of the state, some evidence of this emerged during the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) review of the Miami Showband attack. This attack killed three members of the band, injured two others and also resulted in the deaths of the attackers including one who was thought to have been at Margaret’s door with Jackson on the night he killed Pat.

The Miami HET report found that:

  • The fingerprints of an infamous loyalist paramilitary, the Jackal, were found on the silencer of a gun used in the Miami Showband murders.
  • There is no evidence that this information was passed to the Miami investigation team.
  • The suspect was aware that his fingerprints had been found before his arrest.
  • He claimed that a Detective Superintendent had tipped him off and advised him how to avoid arrest.
  • There is no evidence that these serious allegations were ever thoroughly investigated by RUC HQ however a confidential internal RUC report stated that, if the allegation were true, it constituted a “grave breach of discipline and police confidentiality on the part of the officers concerned.”

The HET conclusion on this issue reads:

“To the objective, impartial observer, disturbing questions about collusive and corrupt behaviour are raised. The HET review has found no means to assuage or rebut these concerns and that is a deeply troubling matter.”

The Pat Finucane Centre has supported the Campbell family for over twenty years in their search for truth and justice for Pat’s murder and the pain, hurt and grieve that it inflicted on the family. No amount of money will ever compensate them for what they lost that night in 1973 but hopefully today’s settlement will bring some level of satisfaction that the state had to settle their claim rather than air the case in court.

It is unfortunate that the Campbell’s and many other families of those bereaved and injured are faced with having to take this type of case to get some sense of truth and justice. The current British Government proposals would close down all avenues for families to seek truth and justice. These proposals must be opposed by everyone who beliefs in democracy, truth and justice. They are morally and legally bankrupt and will do nothing to deal with the legacy of our troubled past.