Belfast Telegraph

Former UDA terrorist admits abusing girls

By Tony Allen

This is the former UDA terrorist who is today exposed as a self-confessed child abuser.

Sunday Life can reveal that Allistair Alexander Cousins has pleaded guilty to three counts of indecently assaulting young girls in the 1980s.

For years Cousins was a driver for a top businessman, chauffeuring him to meetings.

But the 70-year-old’s career as a  chauffeur —  for a millionaire who had no clue about his sick crimes — spectacularly hit the buffers when a number of girls went to police to accuse him of sexually assaulting them.

Last week Cousins was due to go on trial at Belfast Crown court on five counts of indecently assaulting three girls.

A jury of 12 men and women were sworn in to hear the case on Thursday morning.

The prosecution offered no evidence on two of the charges.

But in a dramatic twist of events, Cousins pleaded guilty to three of the remaining counts.

The veteran loyalist was immediately put on the sex offenders’ register for a period yet to be specified.

How long he will be placed on the register will depend on the length of his prison sentence.

He was released on continuing bail to be sentenced on March 12.

The court heard Allistair Cousins spent time in jail in the 1970s and 1980s for loyalist paramilitary offences.

However, this week sentencing was adjourned as defence asked for the preparation of a psychiatric report.

Legal sources say he could be facing up to five years behind bars for his sex crimes against his young victims.

Within hours of his confession to child sex crimes, his name was splattered across loyalist pages on Facebook.

But it didn’t stop Cousins returning to his stomping ground of the Shankill.

A source said: “He turned up in the Pony Club not long after his case was over.

“He has burned a lot of bridges now because of his guilty pleas. He told people that the whole thing was a pack of lies and that he was being set up for a fall.

“But his confessions have shocked everyone. People really believed him. They just can’t believe they were taken in by him.”

Cousins, who fled his home on the Shankill after pleading guilty on Thursday, was a well known member of the UDA and had been attached to the vicious ‘Salisbury Bar team’.

“He was never a shooter. He was more muscle for the UDA, one of their heavies,’’ said a former loyalist prisoner.

However, he once stole a police issue gun off an RUC instructor who was drinking in the Salisbury bar.

“The instructor went to the toilet and was jumped by Cousins who shoved his head down the toilet and stole his Walther pistol.

“He made him crawl around the floor and making quacking noises like a duck.

“Cousins then used the gun to rob a Littlewoods pools collector and got an eight year stretch for it.’’

In later years, he worked for as a driver for a leading businessman.

A source said “He would drive him around in his top of the range Mercedes.

“The man will be shocked by all of this — if he had known what Cousins was really like he wouldn’t have had him near him.”

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