Belfast rapist Gerry Verner back in jail
A notorious rapist has been thrown back in prison amid fears he had become involved with a drugs gang and was associating with paramilitaries.
Gerry "Vermin" Verner had been enjoying the protection of East Belfast UVF figures, and was holed up in an apartment block on Inverary Avenue in the loyalist Sydenham area following his release from prison last year.
But the 30-year-old ex-soldier, who has violently assaulted FOUR different females, is now back behind bars after being linked to drug-dealing and serious criminality.
Security sources revealed that Verner's criminal associates include Dee Madine - who was caged for 11 years for the attempted murder of UVF Shankill Road commander Harry Stockman - and now divides his time between Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Evil Joe McCabe (36), who raped a 76-year-old pensioner, and hammer rapist Michael Gilbert (30), who ordered his victim to "smile" while he sexually assaulted her, are among his other cronies.
While heavily-tattooed Verner was living in east Belfast, he drove a flash Audi A6 S-Line car. The sex offender also enjoyed luxury foreign holidays in expensive hotels and spent around £3,000 on veneers for his teeth.
Security sources expressed amazement at how Verner, nicknamed "Vermin" by fellow inmates at Maghaberry Prison, was able to live in the heart of loyalist east Belfast given his rape conviction.
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They also revealed how this has caused considerable tension with UVF members on the Shankill - the area where the pervert's victim is from.
"People on the Shankill are openly questioning how Verner was able to live in the heart of loyalist east Belfast, and be seen in the company of prominent UVF members," said one insider.
"He is also known to be very friendly with Dee Madine, who stabbed Harry Stockman (right) - a UVF leader. That won't go down well with the Shankill either."
Verner first met Madine while they were locked-up at the Vulnerable Prisoners Unit (VPU) at Maghaberry jail.
He could not be caged in the general prison population because of his rape conviction, while Madine could not be held there as he was under threat from rival loyalists.
While on the isolation wing Verner also became friendly with fellow rapists and "under threat" inmates Joe McCabe and Michael Gilbert - who along with him are considered two of Northern Ireland's worst sex fiends.
McCabe served half a 14-year sentence for the 2005 rape of a frail pensioner in her north Belfast home. Wearing a mask he broke into the property, stripping his victim and telling her to "kiss me, kiss me on the lips".
Like Verner, the monster is also back behind bars accused of breaching the terms of his early release licence.
Verner's other close mate Gilbert was caged for seven years for raping a woman three times when aged just 15.
During an hour-long ordeal she was bound and gagged, hit repeatedly in the head with a hammer and slashed with a Stanley blade. All the while, glue-sniffing Gilbert was screaming: "I'm going to f*****g kill you."
Verner was jailed for a minimum of seven years in 2012 for raping, falsely imprisoning, beating up and threatening to kill his student victim.
He attacked the 19-year-old having ordered her to go to his then home in the Shankill area of Belfast.
When they arrived there, Verner subjected the teenager to a terrifying "10 minutes of honesty" interrogation during which he threatened to cut off a finger for every lie she told.
It was after this that the predator raped his victim, who was the fourth woman he had physically and violently assaulted.
As well as jailing Verner for seven years, Judge Gemma Loughran, who described his crimes as "ghastly, very cruel and callous", also imposed an indefinite SOPO (Sexual Offences Prevention Order).
This prevents Verner from contacting his victim or her family, living at any address without approval, and changing his job or car ownership without prior consent from his designated risk manager.
He is also banned from entering a relationship with a female without telling her about his conviction.
Verner had previously served with the British Army in Afghanistan, but was medically discharged having been deafened in one ear by a Taliban bomb.