We Say
Brutal death

The tragedy of the brutal death of Stephen Montgomery in Ardoyne at the weekend was compounded by the fact that the dead man had seen his father buried the previous week.

Coming hard on the heels of the murder of Robert McCartney in a stabbing at a city centre bar, the death of another young man means that the year 2005 has got off to a depressing start.

The exact circumstances are not yet known, but yesterday two men presented themselves to the PSNI for interview in the wake of the death which will heighten speculation that the death was not an accident.

Bizarrely, an Andersonstown News photographer at the death scene on Sunday morning found the dead man’s coat placed carefully behind a gate to the driveway of a Jamaica Road home. PSNI officers investigating the death failed to find it, despite the fact that it was found just a matter of yards from where Mr Montgomery fell fatally wounded. The dead man’s brother confirmed to us that it was the victim’s coat and has since handed it over to the PSNI.

The family of the dead man, and indeed the community at large, is entitled to wonder what kind of investigation was conducted at the scene if such an obvious and potentially crucial piece of evidence was missed. Was the scene sealed off? Was a fingertip search of the area conducted? Why were the PSNI nowhere to be seen when day broke just hours after the death?

These are questions to which we are entitled to have answers. Grieving families have enough to contend with without the added concern of worrying about whether the PSNI are doing their duty.

For now, though, our thoughts are with the Montgomery family as they prepare to bury another much-loved family member in just a matter of days.

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