SENIOR UVF FIGURE HELD OVER MURDER 20 YEARS AGO

Police arrest suspect over murder of Joseph Reynolds 20 years ago

Police arrest suspect over murder of Joseph Reynolds 20 years ago

A leading member of the UVF has been arrested over the sectarian murder of a man in east Belfast 20 years ago.

The 50-year-old suspect was arrested on Tuesday morning by detectives from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch during a dawn swoop.

The victim, Joseph Reynolds, a 40-year-old from west Belfast, was travelling to work when his van was ambushed by gunmen on Sydenham Road on 12 October 1993.

Three others were injured. Several people were arrested, but no-one was charged.

Last week the police announced they were reopening the investigation into Mr Reynolds’ murder.

Police officers distributed leaflets and posters about the murder in parts of east Belfast last Friday.

Mr Reynolds, who was a Catholic and a subcontractor painter, was on his way to Shorts aircraft factory with a number of workmates, when their vehicle was attacked.

Their van had stopped at a pedestrian crossing on Sydenham Road at 08:25 BST, to allow two men to cross.

The two men, who were wearing blue boiler suits and flat caps, walked across the road at Fraser Street but when they drew level with the van, they opened fire with a handgun and a rifle.

DCI Karen Baxter appeals for information about the UVF murder 20 years ago of Joseph Reynolds

DCI Karen Baxter appeals for information about the UVF murder 20 years ago of Joseph Reynolds

At the same time, another man in a stolen light blue Astra car, which had pulled up behind the van, also opened fire.

Detective Chief Inspector Karen Baxter said the murder of Mr Reynolds, a father of five, had “devastated the Reynolds family and shocked the east Belfast community”.

“There was something about Joseph being shot on his way to work, in broad daylight, in front of relatives and workmates, which chilled people,” she said.

“I am asking people who witnessed the shooting to make contact with police. I am also appealing to people in east Belfast who have information about those involved to come forward.”

Anyone with information about the murder is asked to ring detectives on 0845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 1111.

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