Belfast Telegraph

Haddock bail bid ruling next week

By Michael Donnelly

A judge rules next week on whether alleged UVF chief and Special Branch spy Mark Haddock should join 13 co-accused on bail.

Haddock, accused of murdering UDA man Tommy English as well as UVF membership and a catalogue of offences, is to go on trial next February with the others.

But while opposing bail, prosecutor David Russell revealed that Haddock (41) is also facing a separate charge of murdering Belfast man William Harbinson, found handcuffed and beaten to death in an alleyway in Mount Vernon estate in north Belfast in May 1997.

Mr Russell further claimed that if bailed Haddock, from the estate, might abscond, interfere with witnesses, or be attacked himself.

But defence lawyer Mark Farrell claimed that the case against Haddock and the others was “toxic” and based on the uncorroborated word of two career criminals who had perverted the course of justice in the past.

He said that if freed Haddock's family were prepared to lodge up to £10,000 together with the deeds to his mother's home as surety and that he would live at an address agreed with police.

Reserving judgment, Belfast Crown Court judge Mr Justice Hart said he proposed ruling on the application on Wednesday.

Earlier when Mr Russell said that Haddock now faces a second murder charge, he was “somewhat reluctant” to detail any evidence to link him to the killing.

But the lawyer did say it did not form any part of the evidence of brothers Robert and David Stewart, who are the main witnesses against Haddock and his 13 co-accused on the English killing.

The evidence against Haddock in Mr English’s murder 10 years ago is that he was “commanding officer in the Mount Vernon area”.

Mr Russell further claimed that in the “role ascribed to him” Haddock was in “control of the planning and selection of the target” and even assigned “the parties who carried out the actual attack”.

Given the charges, he added, there were concerns whether Haddock would “appear for his trial”.

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