Mark Haddock to go on trial for murder of top UDA man
A suspected Special Branch informer and one-time UVF leader in north Belfast’s Mount Vernon estate will go on trial in the new year charged with the murder of UDA chief Tommy English.
Belfast Crown Court judge Mr Justice Hart yesterday told both prosecution and defence lawyers they should “be ready for the start of the trial on the first working day of the new year”.
Mark Haddock and eight others have been charged with murder, membership and offences such as wounding with intent, possessing guns and hijacking.
Five others have been charged with assisting offenders and perverting the course of justice.
The court heard the 14 men have been implicated in the catalogue of terror offences by brothers Robert and David Stewart. The Stewarts are currently serving minimum three-year life sentences for their part in the murder of Mr English, who was gunned down in his own Ballyduff home on October 31, 2000 during a bloody UVF-UDA feud at the time.
The two brothers have turned ‘Queen's evidence' and will be giving evidence against their alleged former accomplices.
In all Haddock and the others deny a total of 41 charges arising out of the alleged activities of the UVF in the north Belfast and Newtownabbey areas.
Haddock, who was kept separate from his co-accused and flanked by prison guards outside the dock, denied the murder of Mr English, along with eight other accused.
All nine also deny being members of the UVF.
The five others deny charges such as perverting the course of justice, assisting offenders and possessing items intended for terrorism.