Police ‘failed to arrest person whose print was found on Crossan getaway car’

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Detectives failed to arrest a person whose handprint was found on a getaway car used in the murder of dissident republican Tommy Crossan four years ago, a coroner’s court has heard.

The father of six’s family is to lodge a complaint with the Police Ombudsman about the PSNI’s handling of the investigation, a lawyer told coroner Patrick McGurgan during a brief hearing in Belfast on Friday.

The coroner’s court was asked to adjourn an inquest into Mr Crossan’s death while the Police Ombudsman deals with the family’s allegations.

Mr Crossan, 43, was shot dead in west Belfast on Good Friday in 2014.

As part of their investigation into the murder, police appealed for information about the movements of a red BMW which was found burnt out.

A lawyer for Mr Crossan’s family told the court that part of their complaint to the ombudsman was that “a print was found on a red BMW and the person who it matched was not interviewed”.

She said that full details of the complaint are to be submitted to the ombudsman by March 28.

Mr McGurgan said he was concerned about any delay to the inquest.

“You will appreciate this death happened in 2014 and we’re now in 2018. If you lose the (inquest) hearing date it will not be dealt with this end of Christmas.

“A lot of work has been put into this. This is the most frustrating part of this. This is a very late in the day application (to adjourn),” he said.

He asked the family’s legal team to provide him with full details of the complaint to the ombudsman by March 23 so he can consider if the probe is likely to impact on the holding of an inquest.

Mr McGurgan said he will then decide if he will proceed with the inquest or adjourn.

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