RUC man found own uncle amid Kingsmills carnage

The bullet-riddled minibus in which the murdered workers were travelling
The bullet-riddled minibus in which the murdered workers were travelling

The court heard that one of the first witnesses on the scene of the massacre was both a serving RUC officer and a nephew of one of the victims.

Statements were read at the inquest into the atrocity at Belfast Laganside Court complex on Tuesday from Trevor Cartmill – whose uncle Bobby Freeburn had been killed – about what he had seen that night.

The accounts dated from 2013 and 2016, when he had given them to the Police Ombudsman.

The court heard that he had been a police officer of seven years’ experience and was based in nearby Newtownhamilton at the time of the shooting.

He had heard a burst of gunfire while he was in a house perhaps about three or four fields away.

He then stepped outside, got in his car, and headed towards these scene – something he told the court “may have been a silly thing to have done,” since he did not know what he would face.

He found the place “littered” with bodies, including that of his uncle, before his own colleagues then arrived.

Mr Cartmill said he did not try to offer medical help, since there was no noise, and he believed all the victims to be dead (one, Alan Black, managed to survive).