Belfast Telegraph

Informer quizzed on evidence anomalies

A supergrass testifying against his former alleged UVF comrades has told a judge that "if I was honest I wouldn't be sitting here," in Belfast Crown Court.

But under cross-examination for the seventh day, Robert Stewart corrected himself saying he meant that if he was honest "in my old days I would not be sitting here".

Newtownabbey man Stewart is giving evidence against 14 men, accusing nine of them of involvement in the murder of rival loyalist chief Tommy English in October 2000.

Along with his brother Ian, Stewart turned Queen's evidence, and in exchange for a 75% reduction of their jail terms for their involvement in the murder, agreed to give evidence against the men, including alleged Special Branch informer Mark Haddock.

While being questioned by defence QC Barry Macdonald, Stewart tried to explain why there were inconsistencies in the role he attributed to Bangor man David Millar in the murder.

The lawyer put to him that during interviews with police, he told officers he was not sure what input Millar had had into the murder, and he agreed.

But he added that "he was Mark Haddock's 2IC (2nd in command) but there was five or six guys standing there" when the murder was being discussed.

After he repeated his allegation that Millar and co-accused John Bond got a sledgehammer which was used by the killers to smash their way into English's home in Ballyduff, the lawyer asked him "why on Earth did you not tell the police that?"

He again recounted how he was "under pressure, taking a lot of medication".

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