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Saturday, 14 September, 2002, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
Appeal in murder inquiry
The scene was cordoned off after the shooting
The scene was cordoned off after the shooting
The police have still not established a motive for the murder of a loyalist in County Down.

Stephen Warnock, 35, a member of the Loyalist Volunteer Force, was shot dead by a gunman on a motorbike as he sat in his car in Newtownards on Friday.

His three-year-old daughter who was in the back of the car escaped injury, although the child was treated for shock.

The shooting took place at about 1135 BST at Circular Road in the town near the entrance to Regent House Grammar School.

A caller to a newsroom, using a recognised codeword, said in a statement the dead man, who came from Cambourne Crescent in the town, was a senior member of the LVF.

Forensic

The murder was described as "despicable and callous" by the police.

Detectives have appealed for information about the recent movements of a motorbike, registration number CAZ 5065, which is believed to have been used in the killing.

A motorbike found burned out in Chelsea Street in east Belfast, is being examined by forensic experts.

Mr Warnock originally came from east Belfast, where two of his brothers were killed in separate incidents in 1972.

Drugs

Both of their names later appeared on an Ulster Defence Association roll of honour to its dead members.

On Friday, the police said it was too early to speculate on a motive for the killing but one theory understood to be under consideration is that it was linked to drugs.

The district police commander for the area also said they believed Mr Warnock was talking to two people on the motorbike when he was shot.

The murder was condemned by local politicians.

See also:

13 Sep 02 | N Ireland
13 Sep 02 | N Ireland
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