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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 23 March, 2018

Fresh appeal to catch killer of father-of-four who had no criminal past or connections

Police are making an appeal for information on the anniversary of his death.

Image: PSNI handout

ON 14 APRIL last year, two young men with scarves covering their faces called to the home of Michael McGibbon in Belfast.

They asked the 33-year-old taxi man to step out of the house. He refused. They warned they would return.

A day later, the father of four was shot in the leg three times at an alleyway on Butler Place in the north of the city.

His wife Joanne desperately tried to administer first aid before he was transferred to hospital where he underwent surgery.

He died from his wounds on 16 April 2016.

He had no criminal record and no apparent criminal connections or associations.

Police described the killing as having “all the hallmarks of a paramilitary murder”. They added, “There is nothing that can justify or explain the senselessness of this attack.”

A year on, investigating PSNI officers are still looking for his murderer – and the two visitors to his house the evening before he was killed.

“We continue to carry out a thorough and painstaking investigation into all of the circumstances surrounding Michael’s tragic murder,” Detective Chief Inspector Alan Dickson said this morning.

It was a particularly brutal and callous attack during which Michael was shot a number of times in the leg in an alleyway in a densely populated residential area.

“Easter is traditionally a time for families to spend time together and I would urge everyone to spare a thought for Michael’s family who have been deprived of a cherished husband and father.”

Appealing to people living locally “who know exactly who was involved”, he said: “Those who carried it out have no legitimacy in this community and today I would like to mark the first anniversary of Michael’s killing by appealing to local people to help us find them. Help us bring justice to the McGibbon family.”

He wants, specifically, to talk to the two men who called to the family’s home on the evening of 14 April.

One of the men is described as being in his early 20s and slim. He was wearing a red hooded top, baseball cap and had a scarf over his face.

The second man is believed to be younger – in his late teens – and was wearing a grey hooded top and baseball cap. He also had a scarf over his face.

“I am asking these men, or anyone who knows their identity, to get in touch with police. If there is an innocent explanation for your presence at the house on that night allow us to eliminate you from this enquiry,” Dickson added.

We are grateful for the support and information we have already received from the community, but there are people living locally who know exactly who was involved. They are protecting murderers and we need to hear from them.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact detectives on 101 or the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

Cold cases: Witnesses, DNA and a murderer’s own guilt: From unsolved homicide to case closed

More: Man gets life sentence 30 years after murdering a pensioner and setting her home on fire

Read: The unsolved case of Felix McCann: Savagely beaten to death in a south Dublin shed

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