Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Belfast run away UDA boss Dee Coleman guilty of assault

By Ciaran Barnes

A UDA commander has been spared spending the festive season behind bars despite being convicted of assaulting police and disorderly behaviour.

Repeat offender Dee Coleman, 31, was freed on bail ahead of sentencing on January 11 which means he will get to tuck into a turkey dinner on Christmas Day.

The Lower Shankill based thug had denied the charges but was found guilty after a contest at Belfast Magistrates Court.

Convicted alongside him of disorderly behaviour and obstructing police was David Jenkins, 36, who will also be sentenced in the new year.

A third man, 32-year-old Jim Cousins, had charges of assault on police and disorderly behaviour dismissed.

Mobile phone video footage of the August incident obtained by this newspaper shows Coleman shouting at police: “I’m not being arrested, I’m telling you now.”

He then barges by the officers and sprints off around Hopewell Crescent with them falling over in a Keystone Cops-style pursuit.

Coleman was eventually detained after the minute-long chase.

Some fed-up neighbours in the Lower Shankill estate have reacted with anger to the UDA second-in-command being freed on bail for Christmas.

One asked: “What does Dee Coleman have to do to be sent to prison?”

This was a reference to the series of suspended sentences and community service orders that the loyalist has been handed in the past 18 months.

In August the terror boss was given 120 hours community service for possessing an imitation firearm.

The punishment was imposed just days before unemployed Coleman flew off to Portugal for a stag weekend ahead of getting married to bride Stacey-Lee Donnan in a lavish ceremony at a luxury resort and spa hotel.

Last year he was ordered to serve 240 hours community service for trading in counterfeit products and handling stolen goods.  Twelve months ago, he was fined £400 at Belfast Magistrates Court for possessing drugs.

These convictions are on top of previous jail sentences for being part of a UDA gang that shot up the Rex Bar, and extorting £5,000 from an undercover policeman who was posing as a builder.

“Dee Coleman is the biggest hood on the Shankill Road,” said another Lower Shankill resident.

“We are pleading again with Matt Kincaid (west Belfast UDA leader) to stand him down.

“He has the entire estate tortured.”

Locals are also up in arms that Coleman and his wife have been given a new build housing association property on the Lower Shankill.

The UDA boss is also hanging on to his old Housing Executive home on Hopewell Crescent.

And when Coleman appeared in court last Wednesday it was stated in court papers that he lives at Woodbreda Drive in south Belfast.

Meanwhile, the innocent man who the bully-boy assaulted on Remembrance Sunday has been told he will be out of work for four months with a broken shoulder.

Coleman attacked the popular character after accusing him of cracking a joke about a girl.

His victim also needed six stitches to fix a cut on his lip inflicted during the beating.

A letter sent to this newspaper from appalled Lower Shankill residents revealed just how much they fear Coleman.

It says: “These poor innocent people cannot go to the police for fear of their lives, so when in the name of God will something be done about this thug Coleman?

“Why are lives being ruined, why do we have to live in fear every day?

“Why is he still selling drugs, why is he continuing to give innocent people beatings?

“Can no other UDA companies step in and take all of C Company away from us and give us back our lives to enjoy instead of living in fear?”

Online Editors

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph