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Victims' family to sue loyalist over 1992 killings

 Top and bottom left: Tess and Charlie Fox. Main picture: Anthony Fox (centre) and other relatives with legal representative Rosie Kinnear pictured outside the Portadown church where Alan Oliver now worships. Picture by Bill Smyth
Connla Young

THE family of a Catholic couple murdered in Co Tyrone have attempted to confront a man linked to dozens of sectarian killings with a writ for legal action.

Charlie Fox (63) and his wife Tess (53) were shot dead by the UVF at their home outside the Moy in 1992.

Relatives visited the church of Portadown man Alan Oliver last Friday as part of a civil case being launched over his suspected role in the double murder.

It is understood Oliver is also set to be sued by relatives of some of the three people killed in a notorious UVF attack on a mobile shop in Craigavon in 1991.

He was accused in court papers by a man convicted of being the getaway driver of carrying out the shootings.

Oliver is now a born-again Christian and senior member of Portadown Elim Church.

He has made recorded testimonies posted online in which he admits having been "heavily involved in organised crime and political violence".

The Mid Ulster unit he is alleged to have been a part of was responsible for a catalogue of sectarian killings in the 1980s and '90s.

Oliver is also suspected by victims' relatives of having worked as a British agent.

He did not respond to requests for comment made via the church.

Also named on the legal writ are the PSNI Chief Constable, Secretary of State and the Ministry of Defence.

Anthony Fox, a son of Charlie and Tess, said the family intends to force the PSNI to hand over whatever information it holds on Oliver.

“The state needs to admit what his role was and Alan Oliver needs to admit it,” he said.

Solicitors acting for other families of UVF victims have also written to him to ask for his help in solving the murders.

Kevin Winters, of KRW Law, said the legal action against Oliver is “unprecedented”.

“On a wider front this is one of a series of cases in the Mid-Ulster region and we say all the cases bear the hallmarks of collusion,” he said.

“It represents one of the most notorious cases touching upon the preservation and maintenance of the intelligence agenda."

Relatives for Justice director Mark Thompson also said families have no option but to take civil action.

“In many of these killings there was never proper investigation despite ample evidence and thematic links that warranted prosecutions,” he said.

”Such impunity inevitably gave rise to suspicions that those responsible were operating to a wider agenda of collusion.”

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