Last photo of 'Mad Dog' Adair's son before lethal drug binge
This is the final photo of the son of terror chief Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair — taken the night before he died of an accidental overdose.
Jonathan Adair, 32, was pictured with his girlfriend Jasmine on September 9 just hours after being released from prison for driving offences.
The following day the powerfully-built steroid user, nicknamed ‘Mad Pup’, was found dead near his father’s home on the west coast of Scotland after a drugs binge.
Sources close to Adair Snr — who served a 16-year jail sentence for directing UDA terrorism — insist the death was accidental, saying: “Jonathan was talking on Friday night how much he was looking forward to the Old Firm game the next day between Rangers and Celtic.
“He was found with pills in his pockets. His da Johnny has been hit for six by this, he was very, very close to his son.”
Just hours after news of the death broke Adair Snr told Sunday Life he was “gutted”. The ex-UDA boss’s voice quivered with emotion as he explained that he was too upset to comment further.
Adair Jnr was banged up earlier this year for motoring offences and during his time behind bars in HMP Bowhouse in Kilmarnock had limited access to drugs. Friends believe that his tolerance levels to cocaine and mephedrone dropped, and that was the reason for his fatal overdose last weekend.
His body is expected to be returned to his heartbroken terror boss father and mother Gina tomorrow.
The results of a post-mortem should also be known then.
His funeral will take place in Scotland where his father lives. Neither of his parents have any desire to hold the service in Belfast — the city the family fled under a UDA death threat 13 years ago. Loyalists who were close to Adair before his exile are expected to travel to Troon for the funeral despite UDA threats warning them not to.
Jonathan’s younger sister Chloe revealed how the family had been overwhelmed with messages of support since her brother’s sudden passing.
She said: “Just want to say thank you so much for everybody’s kind words in this heartbreaking time for us as a family.
“It’s been so overwhelming the amount of people that have got in touch and it helps comfort us knowing that he was loved by so many.”
A family friend told Sunday Life that although Jonathan was a petty criminal, he should not be held responsible for the sins of his father.
“Jonathan didn’t pick Johnny Adair as his father and suffered because of his surname and things he had no control over. He was 18 years old when he was ordered to leave his home on the Shankill by the UDA and move to England. No teenager should have to deal with that,” explained a pal.
“Yes, Jonathan was involved in petty crime and drugs, but there was a good side to him too, and he was a brilliant dad to his wee son.”
Adair Jnr had been in and out of jail since fleeing the Shankill with his parents in 2003. He was 18 when the UDA purged his father’s ‘C Company’ faction after it murdered the terror gang’s south-east Antrim boss John ‘Grugg’ Gregg.
The Adair gang fled on a ferry to Scotland before eventually settling in Bolton. While living there Jonathan was jailed for five years for dealing heroin and crack cocaine. After his release from prison he moved to Scotland to live with his father.
The pair were more like brothers than father and son, and often socialised together and went to the same parties.
On one occasion during his time as ‘C Company’ commander Adair insisted on Jonathan being photographed for a sinister UDA calendar wearing a mask and brandishing a gun.
The terror boss doted on his son, and dressed him in top hat and tails when he married his mother Gina Crossan in a ceremony at the Maze Prison in 1997.
Adair also loved to tell of how, at Christmas 1993, he surprised Jonathan with a new bike, hiding it in a shed and encouraging the nine-year-old to find it by sending him outside for a shovel of coal for the fire.
“When it comes to Christmas or anything involving presents I’m the biggest kid of all,” boasted Adair.
However, the loyalist’s relationship with his son was not always a good one. When he ruled the UDA in the lower Shankill he had Jonathan kneecapped for assaulting a shop assistant during a filling station robbery.
This was after Adair had beaten him for stealing the purse of an 84-year-old woman during a burglary, and later taking his car without permission.
Unlike other punishment attacks carried out by ‘C Company’, the gunmen went easy on their leader’s son, shooting him in the calf with a low-calibre 9mm pistol. Afterwards Adair denied ordering the attack on Jonathan, saying: “What man in his own mind would do a thing like that to his own son? Had I known prior to this I would have had my son on a ferry away from here as fast as possible.”
But the shooting failed to curb Jonathan’s ways and in 2002 he was involved in a hit-and-run car smash on the Oldpark Road in north Belfast that left two young nationalists from the nearby Bone area in hospital.
During his time in Scotland the dad-of-one became heavily dependant on drugs and in 2014 was jailed for wrecking the flat of a reality TV star who refused to sell him cannabis. The year before Jonathan had been cleared of a gun raid at a party, and in 2012 was the target of a failed bomb plot.
He was also facing trial later this year on drugs charges, and had been released from prison for motoring offences the day before his death.
HAUNTING IMAGE: Jonathan Adair and girlfriend Jasmine pose for photo night before his drug death
FAMILY AFFAIR: The
Adairs — Chloe, Natalie, Gina, Johnny, Jonathan and Jay — at Natalie’s wedding
earlier this year, and (right) Jonathan with his mum, sisters and brother
IN THE FRAME: Clockwise: Adair and son (circled) at UFF rally; a young Jonathan (right) in family portrait; ‘Mad Pup’ posing for sinister calendar, and his terror chief dad
Belfast Telegraph Digital