Northern Ireland

Appeal for information on 22nd anniversary of brutal east Belfast murder

Arthur Berryman was stabbed to death at his east Belfast home on October 31, 2001. Picture: PSNI
Arthur Berryman was stabbed to death at his east Belfast home on October 31, 2001. Picture: PSNI Arthur Berryman was stabbed to death at his east Belfast home on October 31, 2001. Picture: PSNI

Police have renewed an appeal for information on the murder of a man 22 years after "savage and sustained" attack in his east Belfast home.

Arthur Berryman was stabbed several times at his home in Imperial Street on October 31 2001, after his wife answered a knock at the door at around 11.30pm.

His wife was pushed to the floor by a masked man wielding a knife, who then entered the living room and attacked Mr Berryman, who died at the scene.

A man and a woman were charged in connection with the murder, but the charges were later withdrawn.

Detectives from the PSNI's Legacy Investigation Branch have urged anyone with information on the murder to come forward.

Detective Chief Inspector Jenna Fitzpatrick said: “The man was described as wearing a dark coloured jacket with the hood up and had his face covered with a light coloured mask.  Following the attack, he is believed to have made off on foot into an alleyway beside the house.

“This was a savage and sustained attack on a defenceless man in his own home. We are exploring a number of potential motives for the murder, however we do not believe the attack on Arthur was in any way sectarian. I am appealing for anyone who may have been on Imperial Street or the surrounding streets before or after the murder and who may have seen the attacker to speak with police.

“In the years since Arthur’s murder people’s circumstances and allegiances may have changed. I am appealing to anyone with any knowledge of what happened that night who have not spoken to police previously to do so now. Despite the amount of time that has passed since the murder, it is not too late. If anyone now feels they are able to talk to us, we are ready to listen.

“Twenty-two years have now passed since this senseless killing. I ask those who were involved, or heard accounts of what happened, either in the immediate aftermath or indeed over the years, to think about the devastating effect this has had on Arthur’s family, and to come forward and make themselves known to police.”

Anyone with information can contact detectives in the Legacy Investigation Branch on 101 or by emailing LIBEnquiries@psni.pnn.police.uk.