MI5 'played no part in Murrell murder'

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(First Edition)

Police yesteday ruled out any security service involvement in the murder of the anti-nuclear campaigner, Hilda Murrell, 10 years ago

The body of Miss Murrell, 78, was found in March 1984 three miles from her home in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. She had been stabbed.

Since then, there have been persistent claims linking her death either to her anti-nuclear stance or her nephew's connection with the sinking of the Belgrano during the Falklands war.

However, police said an eight-month investigation into allegations of an MI5 link to the killing had drawn a blank. David Thursfield, Assistant Chief Constable of West Mercia, said officers had been given access to security service, military and nuclear industry files and had found no links to Miss Murrell.

He said: 'We have visited the headquarters of the security services where we spoke to a senior official. The service co-operated fully with our inquiries and we are entirely satisfied that from these and other inquiries the security service was not involved in Miss Murrell's murder and had no knowledge of her before her death.'

He also said that she was not known to any military department of West Mercia special branch before her death.

The latest inquiry was prompted by a book last year by Gary Murray, a private investigator, who said he interviewed a team hired by MI5 to investigate Miss Murrell as she prepared a paper for the Sizewell B power station inquiry. Mr Murray said yesterday: 'The police mean well. But I think they have been manipulated and misled. I find it impossible to believe that Hilda Murrell was not on secret service files.'