Police Ombudsman investigation launched into Co Antrim man's death

Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire has launched an investigation into the death of a Co Antrim man who took his own life after being released from police custody
Connla Young

The Police Ombudsman is investigating the circumstances around the death of a Co Antrim man who took his own life days after being confronted by a paedophile hunter group.

The man was confronted at his home by a group known as Silent Justice in August.

During the encounter, which was broadcast live on Facebook, the man was questioned about alleged online activities involving children.

The middle aged man, who is understood to be a father-of-two, was arrested by police at his house and released without being charged.

He later took his own life.

A spokesman for the Police Ombudsman has confirmed that an investigation is underway.

“We are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man near Ballymena on August 8 this year,” he said.

It is understood ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire called himself into the investigation.

Silent Justice is one of several groups operating in the north that targets suspected paedophiles.

It regularly uses adult decoys who pose as young teenagers in order to identify suspects.

According to Silent Justice the man who died had “contacted two of our decoys separately and incited both into sexual activity and sent indecent images of himself and requested them of the children”.

During the exchange the man denied knowing the age of one of the decoys who was posing as a 14-year-old girl.

At the time the PSNI said it was investigating the sudden death and added that it was “not being treated as suspicious”.

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