My father wasn’t a UDA chief when he was killed, Geordie Gimore’s son tells court
The son of murdered Carrickfergus man Geordie Gilmore yesterday denied his father was a leading loyalist or a commander in the UDA at the time of his death.
Mr Gilmore died after his car was shot up in the Sunnylands area of the town last March.
His son George Jnr was one of the first on the scene and called 999.
Giving evidence at a trial into his father's murder, George Jnr denied the killing was part of a feud.
Three men are currently on trial at Belfast Crown Court, charged with murdering 44-year old George Gilmore and attempting to murder two of his passengers on March 13 last year.
They are David 'Dee Dee' McMaw (30) from Starbog Road in Larne, his brother Darren McMaw (33) from Kilgreel Road in Carrick and 36-year-old Brian McClean, from Valetta Park in Newtownards.
All three men have denied all charges against them.
Giving evidence, George Gilmore Jnr confirmed that on the morning of the killing, he, his father and three other men attended Laganside Court to support a friend who was charged with attempted murder.
Mr Gilmore was driving a white Vauxhall Insignia, while his son was driving a red BMW when they returned to the Woodburn estate.
It is the Crown's case that the gunman who fired at the Insignia was David McMaw while McClean acted as a look-out, and that Darren McMaw involved himself in a "scouting exercise" by following Mr Gilmore in his van prior to the attack.
From the witness box, George Gilmore Jnr said he entered the estate where he saw David McMaw and McClean who were "shouting towards the cars and making hand movements".
He was asked what he thought was meant by these hand movements, to which he replied: "I think it was meant as goading. They wanted us in the street to start a confrontation."
Mr Gilmore Jnr said McClean first ran towards an alleyway before running into the road, in front of his car.
He said: "I had to slam the brakes on so I didn't run him over.
"When I put the brakes on, I could see Dee Dee in the alleyway. He had a mask on his head, but it wasn't pulled down.
"He was waiting in the alley. I don't know what he was waiting for, but he was waiting."
Mr Gilmore Jnr said he was waiting to see the Insignia come up the street, when he heard around seven shots being fired.
Asked what he saw next, he said he witnessed this father's car rolling across the road and crashing into a wall.
Mr Gilmore Jnr said he ran to his father's vehicle: "I seen my Dad had been shot. There was blood and what I thought was a bit of his brain on the back of the headrest."
Eilis McDermott QC, representing David McMaw, pointed out that in the wake of his death, Mr Gilmore was described as a "leading loyalist".
Asked if he agreed with this description, his son said: "No, definitely not."
Mr Gilmore Jnr said that while his father "may have been" a commander in the South East Antrim UDA when he was a child, he had not had anything to do with the paramilitary group "for about 10 to 15 years".
He also denied that his father was the leader of a group that split from the others, saying: "No. It was a group of family and friends being intimidated by South East Antrim UDA."
The court was also shown mobile phone footage which showed a group of around 100 men, some masked, standing outside the Gilmore home in July 2016.
When he was asked why his family home was being targeted, Mr Gilmore Jnr answered: "That was over two wee girls fighting."
He is due to return to the witness box tomorrow.