Belfast Telegraph

Supergrass trial, Day 4: Haddock warned by judge after abusive heckling of witness

The judge in Belfast's UVF supergrass trial threatened to have top loyalist Mark Haddock thrown out of court after he shouted foul-mouthed abuse at informer Robert Stewart, who is testifying against him and 13 other terrorist suspects.

After 37-year-old Stewart started to repeat the reasons why there were discrepancies in his evidence, Haddock shouted: "For f*** sake, change the record."

Mr Justice Gillen immediately warned Haddock he would have him removed from Belfast Crown Court.

He said he wouldn't tolerate any more interruptions and added: "If you speak out of turn again, you will be held outside the court."

It was the first interjection by Haddock, who along with nine of the accused, is charged with murdering UDA leader Tommy English at his home in the Ballyduff estate, Newtownabbey, during a loyalist feud in 2000.

Stewart and his brother Ian have already served reduced sentences after admitting their roles in the murder and agreeing to testify against the other men they say were involved in the shooting.

Stewart yesterday insisted he wasn't lying. He told defence lawyer Mr Frank O'Donoghue QC that Haddock, the UVF commander in the Mount Vernon area of Belfast, had ordered the killing of English.

He told the court: "I will stand here for months and say that. I am telling the truth. Your client isn't."

He added "I have explained it a hundred times - Mark Haddock was in overall command and every order came from him. I am not picking his name out of a hat. He wanted Tommy English dead."

Stewart said that he and Haddock had gone to Mr English's house on a scouting mission just before the killing.

"I am suggesting to you that Mark Haddock was not on it," said Mr O'Donoghue. "Oh... it was Mary Poppins who was on it, then," replied Stewart.

In another exchange, Stewart said: "I am telling you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but." And he told Mr O'Donoghue: "You haven't got a case. You are just trying to pick holes. I am giving as true an account as I can remember but you are twisting it around and around and around."

Stewart said: "I haven't changed any story. Things have just got clearer to me." He also denied the police had told him what to say.

Earlier yesterday Stewart denied he was the gunman who shot UDA chief English.

Taking the witness box for the fourth day and flanked by two armed police officers, Robert Stewart again admitted that he had told lies when giving his first accounts to police, telling the court that at the time he was "coming off the Valium" and had been "under pressure".

The trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph


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