Police on murder inquiry criticised

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The Independent Online
NORTH WALES Police had been 'inept and dilatory' in their investigations into the killing in July 1991 of five people outside a New Age travellers' camp near Shotton, Deeside, a victim's solicitor said yesterday, writes Jonathan Foster.

Warren Clarke, now 24, was driving past the camp when his car was in collision with a BMW speeding away from the site. Two passengers in Mr Clarke's Ford Escort and three men in the other car were killed; Mr Clarke sustained serious injuries and is seeking compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, but it says his case may not be considered until the police investigation has been concluded. The North Wales force yesterday said 'some issues remain which require further investigation'.

The police have been criticised for failing to promptly treat the incident as murder. Last year, the East Clwyd coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful killing of all five men.

Witnesses told the inquest that travellers attacked the three men in the BMW after they visited the camp to listen to rock music. The BMW was smashed with iron bars and stoned before catching fire and colliding with Mr Clarke's car.

Rex Makin, Mr Clarke's solicitor, said explanations of why the case had not been closed after three years were 'specious excuses . . . This investigation has been particularly inept and dilatory'.