Wednesday 23 August 2017

Gardai have list of up to 100 suspects in cold case

Underworld figures among those sought for murder of housewife

Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

THE cold-case unit reviewing the murder of Grace Livingstone has drawn up a list of up to 100 people they want to interview for their investigation into the death of the gentle housewife who was beaten, bound and shot dead in her home 18 years ago.

The list includes former IRA figures, members of the criminal underworld and up to four people now resident in the UK who were seen near the suburban, north Dublin housing estate at the time she was killed.

Following a legal action by James Livingstone, who sued gardai he alleged wrongly pinpointed him as the prime suspect, the review team is paying particular attention to a number of leads that he claimed were inadequately investigated by the original inquiry team, according to sources.

The Serious Crime Review Team will begin forensic tests on evidence including pillows that were possibly used to muffle the sound of the gunshot, as well as the tape used to bind Mrs Livingstone which bears a fingerprint. It is hoped that modern forensic techniques will enable a DNA sample to be extracted from the print or the pillows.

Other evidence includes bed clothes that were taken from the bed on which her body was found by her husband, James Livingstone, now 72.

Mr Livingstone issued a statement on behalf of his family yesterday. He said: "Despite our sad experience with the original investigation, we are very happy with the efforts of the cold-case team to find Grace's killer. We will give that team every assistance and support possible."

The investigation into Mrs Livingstone's murder was re-activated by the Serious Crime Review Team more than a year ago after a review of the file highlighted a number of forensic avenues to be explored.

The murder of the housewife on December 7, 1992, at her home in The Moorings, a middle-class housing estate in Malahide, shocked the local community. While her husband was a senior tax inspector whose duties included special investigations into businesses, underworld figures and members of the IRA, she was a housewife.

The review coincided with a High Court action against the Garda Siochana, in which the original investigation team was accused of having an "irrational fixation" that Mr Livingstone was the murderer.

Mr Livingstone took the legal action, along with his daughter, Tara Beauchamp, and son Conor. After several days of evidence, the case was settled by the State.

It was claimed by the Livingstones that evidence of a man seen in the area was never followed up. One neighbour told gardai he saw a young man at the Livingstone's front door at about 4.30pm while another saw a man speeding away from the area around the same time.

Mr Livingstone was arrested three months after his wife's murder. But a second investigation ordered by the then Garda Commissioner concluded that Mr Livingstone could not have killed his wife.

Sunday Independent

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