Belfast Telegraph

Notorious loyalist facing murder charge is freed on bail

Alleged loyalist killer and supergrass Mark Haddock has been released on bail because he has already spent nearly two years in jail awaiting trial.

Belfast Crown Court judge Mr Justice Hart yesterday released the 41-year-old on his own bail of £1,000 and a cash surety of £10,000 to be lodged with the court.

He also ordered that Haddock is to live at an address known to police, must inform the PSNI of all his travel arrangements and barred him from associating with an unknown male who lives five miles away from his bail address.

Prosecuting lawyer David Russell told the court that while this man, whom he would not name, was neither a victim, a witness nor a co-accused, his address is in the public domain as he has been “door-stepped” by the media and therefore, naming him would identify where Haddock will be residing. He revealed that the police had voiced concerns about their ability to monitor any associations between Haddock and the man and also that it may give rise to a danger of public disorder.

Haddock, originally from the Mount Vernon area of north Belfast, is awaiting trial, along with 13 other defendants, accused of the murder of rival loyalist chief Tommy English.

Nine men, including Haddock, are charged with the murder on October 31, 2000, membership of the UVF, as well as numerous offences of wounding with intent and possessing guns and explosives. All 41 counts they face arise out of activities of the UVF in north Belfast and Newtownabbey.

The four other men have been charged with offences such as perverting the course of justice and assisting offenders.

The charges all arise after two Newtownabbey brothers, Robert and Ian Stewart, turned Queen's evidence and confessed to crimes, including involvement in the murder, in return for more lenient jail sentences.

They were handed sentences of life imprisonment with a minimum tariff of three years each earlier this year.

The trial has been listed next February, by which time Haddock will have served 25 months on remand, and they are set to give evidence against their alleged former accomplices.

Earlier this week Mr Russell revealed that on the Crown case, Haddock was “the commanding officer” in the Mount Vernon UVF, that he was “in control of the planning and selection of the target” and even assigned roles to “the parties who carried out the actual attack” on Mr English, who was gunned down in his Ballyduff home.

While Haddock was granted bail on charges arising from the evidence of the Stewart brothers, he will remain in custody charged in relation to the murder of William Harbinson. He was found handcuffed and beaten to death in an alleyway in the Mount Vernon estate on May 19, 1997.

Defence lawyer Mark Farrell said bail papers in the Harbinson case had already been lodged with the court so Mr Justice Hart listed the bail application this morning and it is expected bail will be granted.

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