John Reginald Charles Bennison



23 March 1987






Detective Sergeant



Royal Ulster Constabulary



Homicide - Bomb

Duty Status


On Duty

Roll of Honour Citation

Killed by a bomb detonating at the scene of a shooting he was investigating.

Following an evening psychology class at Magee College in Londonderry one of the students, a 62 year old man who worked for the Northern Ireland Prison Service, was sat in his car outside the college.

Three terrorist gunmen approached and shot him multiple times through the windscreen. Receiving reports of gunfire Police attended and sealed off the area.

Detective Sergeant Bennison was with Detective Inspector Austin Wilson at the scene. As part of their inquiries they were examining a briefcase left in the car of the murdered man.

Unbeknownst to the Detectives the briefcase had been left by the terrorists with a bomb inside. It detonated killing both DS Bennison and DI Wilson.

It was later established the murdered man was targeted to draw police officers to the scene so they could be attacked by the planting of a bomb in the briefcase.

He was stationed at Waterside Police Station and had been in the RUC for 6 years having transferred from Avon & Somerset Constabulary. Prior to joining the police he had served in the Grenadier Guards.

Survived by his wife and daughter.