Two Northern Ireland police officers were investigating for sharing photos of men who had died by suicide


The family of a Belfast suicide victim described feeling “physically ill” over allegations that two Northern Ireland police officers took photos and videos of his body and shared them online, the BBC reported.

The incident is said to have happened five years ago and one of the officers in question has been suspended on full pay pending an investigation by the Police Ombudsman.

After his son’s death, the victim’s father said it took 18 months before he was made aware of the claims.

The victim’s sister said her brother’s genitals were exposed and photographed. The family was also told that the two officers allegedly moved the victim’s body around the room to pose for pictures and videos.

It is also claimed that speech bubbles were post-edited into the images before they were shared. The victim’s sister said one of the speech bubbles read “taig,” which is a derogatory term for Catholics.

The family said the incident added to their trauma, while their lawyer has compared the case to that of two London Police officers who were jailed for taking and sharing photos of two murdered sisters.

The man’s father said he remains “physically ill” to date about how his late son was treated.

“These cops were in the house while I was there – asked me to leave the room – and I did whatever they asked me to do at the time,” he said.

“And all I can think of is why I left the room, because that must have been when they did it, when they took the photos.”

The Police Ombudsman’s investigation is part of a broader investigation covering 11 separate but related allegations.

The Ombudsman has confirmed that several arrests have been made and allegations include misconduct, harassment and the alleged supply of drugs.

UUP MLA Mike Nesbitt described the revelations as “an absolute scandal”.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Nesbitt, a member of the Police Executive, said he had major concerns about the transparency of police information flows.

It comes after it was revealed that around 130 police officers are currently being investigated for gross misconduct in Northern Ireland, according to the latest public meeting of the Northern Ireland Policing Board on Thursday.

The former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party said he suspected that was “a very high number” compared to other forces in the UK.

“If it’s true – then it’s an absolute scandal… I have serious concerns and have had concerns for some time about the flow of information from the PSNI to the Policing Board,” he said.

“We can only hold them accountable for what we know is happening.”

The victim’s family’s lawyer, Pádraig Ó Muirigh, said the five-year wait for justice was unacceptable.

Meanwhile, Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland Marie Anderson said all aspects of the case are being “fully and thoroughly investigated”.

“After the criminal justice aspects are finalized, I will consider recommendations to the chief constable regarding disciplinary action,” she said.

“All those affected by these incidents can rest assured that we have given this case the priority and careful attention it deserves and we will continue to do so.”

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