Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Child sex shame of UDA chief

LOYALIST godfather Jim Gray died hiding a grim child-sex secret, Sunday Life can reveal.

LOYALIST godfather Jim Gray died hiding a grim child-sex secret, Sunday Life can reveal.

The ousted UDA brigadier visited the world's child sex 'hotspots' paying teenage boys for sex.

It was because he wanted to hide his shameful secret that he denied to his family being in Thailand on when his son, Jonathan, died from a heroin overdose.

The murdered former UDA brigadier - whose crew were dubbed the 'Spice Boys' by other loyalists because of their flamboyant clothes and lifestyle - was one of a number of frequent sex tourists from Northern Ireland who was monitored by cops as he went on sunshine holidays looking for child prostitutes.

Although dubbed 'Doris Day' by the media, Gray had another unprintable nickname inside the UDA, inspired by his sex life. It was the homophobic bodyguard of another UDA leader who first referred to him as "Cindy ***** ******".

And young male prostitutes were the reason that Gray took the trip to Thailand, on which his son Jonathan died from a drugs overdose.

Said one security source: "There are a number of people from Northern Ireland who are monitored when they leave the country, and authorities in the destination country notified, because it is suspected that they may be travelling with the intention of procuring juveniles for sex.

"Jim Gray would be one person who would have fallen into that category.

"Of course, being who he is, he could never have left the country quietly anyway, and numerous agencies may have been watching him."

The previously married and permanently-tanned loyalist godfather, gunned down outside his father's east Belfast home last Tuesday, was bisexual.

And, according to UDA veterans, Gray's sexuality was no secret, but he was forced to travel away from Ulster to get his sick kicks with teenage boys.

Said one: "It's always been known that Jim was bisexual, you would even know to look at him that he was a screaming mad queen.

"And, of course, he went to Bangkok quite a lot, and to many other places where there were plenty of young gay men - parts of eastern Europe were another favourite haunt for him.

"If he had gone round looking for boys in Belfast he would have certainly been dead long before now.

"And Gray wasn't alone in his fondness for young boys."

Until fairly recently, cops in the UK have been powerless to stop paedophiles leaving Ulster on sex tourism jaunts.

However, new sex offences legislation brought in a number of years ago means it is now possible to prosecute perverts for sex crimes that they committed overseas.

It is also now easier to obtain court orders preventing the paedophiles even getting on the plane.

While the legislation was being drawn up, and investigatory bodies were aware of the new powers they would receive, they put in place surveillance on a number of sex crimes suspects.

Additional reporting by John McGurk, Joe Oliver and Pauline Reynolds

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