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Loyalist jailed over guns fails in early release bid

A man jailed for weapons offences linked to a loyalist killing in Belfast has lost his legal bid to secure almost immediate release.

Iain Rea was challenging the refusal to give him credit for nearly a year he spent in custody on separate terrorism charges which were later withdrawn.

Rea (39) is serving an eight-year sentence for possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives. He was jailed along with Steven Paul McFerran, who pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Roy Green, shot dead outside the Kimberley Bar off the Ormeau Road, Belfast, in 2003. The killing was linked to a feud between rival factions of the UDA.

During the police investigation a handwritten list of guns and ammunition was found at Rea's home. It included references to some weapons found at a garage on the Belvoir Estate, including a revolver used to kill Green.

Although the list was said to be in Rea's handwriting, he denied any knowledge of the garage or its contents. Rea was seeking to judicially review a decision to calculate his earliest date of release as being February 17, 2011.

In the High Court, Lord Justice Coghlin said the 2003 charge differed from offences for which Rea was ultimately convicted.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph