Ex-UVF terrorist Samuel 'Pinky' Austin dies at Belfast home
A former UVF leader and bomb maker has died suddenly.
Samuel 'Pinky' Austin - who was at one time leader of the terror gang in the Maze prison - died on Tuesday at his Shankill Road home, according to funeral notices placed in today's Belfast Telegraph by family, friends and associates.
In 1994 Austin was arrested with UVF associates Ian 'Spud' Wilson and Jackie Anderson in a bomb-making factory in Ainsworth Avenue off the Shankill Road, after information was passed to police by a mole within the UVF's Shankill Road 'B' Company.
The three men were jailed for 10 years after being caught with explosives.
The booby-trap bomb they were manufacturing was supposed to have been handed over to an accomplice who was to bring it to another location.
But the switch never took place because the accomplice alerted his police handlers - who raided the house on Ainsworth Avenue in which the device was discovered.
Earlier this year, court documents revealed how the UVF terror clique had been comprehensively infiltrated by police agents and informers.
An affidavit, submitted to the High Court, listed the code-names and source reference numbers of 11 registered police agents. It also detailed how information that two of them provided led to the arrests and subsequent convictions of at least six UVF men, some of whom were at the very top of the terror gang.
It's understood that the Police Ombudsman's office is currently investigating the level of protection from prosecution given to UVF agents by their Special Branch handlers.
Among the people and groups mourning Austin's death were the Rex Bar, the Long Bar Social Club, the Tigers Bay Pool Team, the Pony Club, the Mountainview Tavern, the Young Calvary Volunteers Flute Band of Glasgow, and the Loyalist Prisoners and Widows Welfare Association.
His funeral will leave Lawnbrook Avenue at 10am tomorrow on its way to Roselawn crematorium.