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Adair murder plot accused walks free as charges withdrawn

Johnny Adair

A man accused of a murder plot against Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair has walked free from court after a prosecutor withdrew all charges against him.

John Gorman (58) was on trial at the High Court in Glasgow with Antoin Duffy (39), Martin Hughes (36) and Paul Sands (31) accused of conspiring to murder Adair and Sam McCrory - once high-profile figures in the UDA and UFF.

Mr Gorman and Duffy also denied being part of a plan to murder the governor of Barlinnie jail in Glasgow, Derek McGill, in a car bomb.

Mr Gorman has been cleared of these charges and terrorism charges. Yesterday, advocate depute Paul Kearney, prosecuting, told the jury: "I am withdrawing the libel against Mr Gorman."

He also withdrew the charges against Gary Convery (34), who was accused of organised crime charges.

Judge Lady Scott said: "Mr Gorman and Mr Convery, I formally find you not guilty of the charges of which you were accused. You are free to leave the dock."

Mr Gorman was detained and quizzed by police on October 30, 2013 in connection with alleged terrorism offences.

He was asked by police officers about religious beliefs and replied: "One half of my family support Celtic and the other half support Rangers. We have never done nae bigotry in my house."

When he was asked again about his religion, Mr Gorman said: "Protestant. My daughter went to a Catholic school and my son to a Protestant school. I just went with what the best school was."

Later in the interview Gorman, who is known by the nickname Piddy, said: "I can't believe I'm in here for terrorism. I don't know where this information is coming from."

The jury also heard that Mr Gorman's home in Irvine was searched by police for eight hours and no literature connected in any way with the Troubles was found there.

The trial against Duffy, Hughes and Sands on charges of terrorism and plotting to murder Adair and McCrory continues. Duffy is also accused of plotting to murder the prison governor. They deny all the charges against them.

Craig Convery (37) and Gordon Brown (29) are also on trial accused of being involved in organised crime. They deny the charges.

Outside court, Mr Gorman's solicitor Aamer Anwar said: "All charges against Mr Gorman have now been withdrawn."

He added: "He wishes to thank me, his solicitor, counsel Edward Targowski QC and Sarah Livingstone for their representation on his behalf.

"After 38 days of trial Mr Gorman stands clear from any criminal charges.

"However, no further statement can be made at this time due to ongoing proceedings."

Belfast Telegraph