Belfast Telegraph

Suspected UDA chief Dee Coleman wants intelligence files, court hears

By Alan Erwin

A suspected UDA chief is seeking disclosure of any intelligence used to support allegations he is second in command of a notorious Belfast unit, the High Court has heard.

David 'Dee' Coleman's lawyers revealed they have asked the Public Prosecution Service to hand over all material amid further claims of paramilitary involvement.

Telephone evidence allegedly links him to the gathering of membership money for the outlawed organisation, a judge was told.

Prosecutors claimed messages attributed to the 32-year-old were signed off 'QS' - an apparent reference to the UDA's Latin motto Quis Separabit (Who will separate us?).

It was also contended that he uses at least five different mobile phones, separately identified as Dee Coleman 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Details emerged as his bail application was adjourned due to the dispute over the basis for the assertions.

Defence barrister Sean Mullan said: "We have written directly to the PPS seeking disclosure of the intelligence material being put forward and relied on by the Crown."

Coleman, of Hopewell Crescent in Belfast, is charged with membership of a proscribed organisation between June 14 and October 18 this year.

He was arrested by detectives from the PSNI's Paramilitary Crime Taskforce during an operation involving 14 searches at locations in the city, Holywood and Portadown.

Police and the prosecution claim he is overall second in command of the UDA's C Company based in west Belfast's Lower Shankill area.

The unit is suspected of involvement in extorting local businesses, punishment beatings, intimidation, drugs and loan sharking, it was alleged.

A Crown lawyer said: "The organisation is assessed as being sophisticated, there are believed to be 27 members and there are ongoing investigations into the organisation itself."

She set out a series of mobile phone communications in an attempt to connect Coleman to paramilitary business.

It was also contended that instructions on the initiation of new members were discovered at an address linked to him.

"Police believe he's a high-ranking member of the UDA in the Lower Shankill," she added.

But Mr Mullan expressed "grave concerns" at the assertions being made.

He told the court: "We simply have to apply for this matter to be adjourned because the Crown have to provide the material on which they rely."

Consenting to the move, judge Sir Richard McLaughlin confirmed the bail application was being adjourned generally.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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