Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Jonny Evans’ cousin marries deposed UDA boss Shoukri

Andre Shoukri
Andre Shoukri

The new wife of leading loyalist Andre Shoukri is a cousin of Manchester United star Jonny Evans.

The former UDA boss wed Gemma Lockhart, 26, in a low-key ceremony in north Belfast on Thursday.

Her millionaire footballer relative Jonny Evans — who also got married yesterday — was not among the guests.

An image of cousin Jonny takes pride of place on Gemma's Facebook page.

The brunette, from the Rathcoole estate in Newtownabbey, and Jonny were youngsters when the picture was taken.

He would go on to win the Premier League with Man Utd, while she ended up marrying a deposed UDA boss notorious for blackmail and gambling.

Sources close to Shoukri, 36, told Sunday Life he has promised to turn his life around for the sake of his marriage.

A pal said: “Andre's told everyone he's going straight and that he wants a quiet life and family with Gemma.

“He really is trying to make a go of it, which has left a lot of people surprised.”

But one obstacle in the way of their happiness is the threat of Shoukri being sent to jail for driving a car without lawful authority.

The ex-UDA leader pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared before Antrim Magistrates' Court last month and will be sentenced on July 2.

Shoukri was arrested on April 29 in the town centre driving back from court after dropping off his close friend and convicted blackmailer John ‘Bonzer' Boreland.

The 43-year-old had his early release license suspended and was returned to jail for a year for possessing an imitation firearm.

Now Shoukri is at risk of being banged up again beside his best pal.

In 2007 the pair were both sentenced to nine years in prison for extorting money from a north Belfast bar owner. This was their second blackmail conviction.

In 1999, when Shoukri and Boreland were rising through the ranks of the north Belfast UDA, they were convicted of trying to extort cash from restaurant owner Mel Lundy.

Three years earlier Shoukri was jailed for the unlawful killing of Gareth Parker who died from injuries suffered during a fight with the loyalist.

After getting out of jail in 2010 Shoukri moved to the Rathcoole estate where he lives under the protection of the Southeast Antrim UDA.

The mainstream UDA accused him of stealing almost £1 million from the organisation to fund his gambling habits and have made a number of threats.

 

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