Belfast Telegraph

UVF supporter jailed for attempting to murder Catholic teen fails in loyalist prison wing move court challenge

By Alan Erwin

A self-proclaimed UVF supporter jailed for attempting to murder a Catholic teenager failed today in a High Court challenge to being denied a transfer onto a loyalist prison wing.

Colin Kingsbury wanted a judge to quash the decision to refuse his bid to be moved to the separated regime at HMP Maghaberry.

His lawyers argued that prison chiefs unlawfully relied solely on a confidential police report in deciding whether he met the criteria which include being a member or supporter of a paramilitary organisation.

But Mr Justice Treacy threw out his case after finding no evidence of such a policy.

Kingsbury, 25, formerly of Carntall Gardens in Antrim, is serving a 13 and a half-year sentence for his part in an unprovoked sectarian attack on a 17-year-old youth in the town in 2011.

The victim was repeatedly kicked and stamped on, suffering serious, life-threatening injuries.

Judicially review proceedings were issued after the Prison Service refused Kingsbury's application to be moved to the loyalist separated wing at Bush House last year.

Seeking to have the decision quashed, his legal team claimed it was unfair and failed to take into account relevant facts. These included:

:: His conviction for the sectarian attack.
:: His role as a UVF standard bearer in a marching band.
:: His attendance at memorials, concerts and other shows of support for a proscribed loyalist organisation.

A governor in charge of the Prison Service's Security information Branch determined that Kingsbury did not qualify as a member or supporter of an outlawed paramilitary grouping.

He relied on a PSNI report which revealed no known trace of any affiliation.

But the court heard he also took into account further representations in a letter from Kingsbury's solicitor.

These included his membership of the Steeple Defenders Flute Band between 2008 and 2011.

The governor set out how an independent report is always obtained as prisoners may attempt to secure a transfer to a more favourable accommodation or claim membership of an organisation based on affiliations created within the jail.

Dismissing the judicial review challenge, Mr Justice Treacy said he was satisfied the Prison Service considered all relevant information.

He said: "Having regard to the context I see no unfairness in the procedures that were adopted."

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