Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Loyalist Jim 'Bimbo' Wilson has teeth kicked out in Belfast club as drunk UDA thugs go on rampage

Feud fears after rival loyalists clash

Leading loyalist Jim 'Bimbo' Wilson had four teeth kicked out in a horrific Remembrance Sunday assault by UDA-linked drug dealers.

The former Red Hand Commando member's adult grandson Dylan also suffered serious head injuries when he was set upon by the same coked-up gang in the Welders Club in east Belfast last weekend.

The attack, which is being investigated by police, has caused serious tension between rival loyalists and happened while the UDA's boss in the area, Jimmy 'Millions' Birch, was sunning himself on a luxury holiday in Australia.

He will now have to go grovelling to the UVF, to which Bimbo Wilson is linked, to avoid an all-out feud.

Wilson refused to comment when asked about the assault on him by UDA-linked drug dealers.

But a witness to the brawl told Sunday Life: "The east Belfast UDA have once again sullied Remembrance Day by getting tanked up on drugs and drink and attacking people. It's not exactly what the heroes of the Somme died for."

Nolan show regular Wilson, who is aged in his 60s and has led recent attempts to legalise the Red Hand Commando terror gang, was assaulted after trying to break up a row in the Welders Club of which he is a committee member.

Mobile camera footage obtained by this newspaper shows him pleading with a number of younger men to calm down.

Minutes later the community worker was subjected to a violent attack. Wilson was punched to the ground and kicked in the mouth resulting in him losing four teeth.

His grandson Dylan tried to intervene but was also beaten to the floor by the UDA-linked thugs, who cannot be identified for legal reasons. He suffered serious injuries which sources have described as a suspected fractured skull.

Appealing for witnesses to the attack a PSNI spokesman said: "We are appealing for information about an altercation that left a number of people injured.

"The incident happened in the Dee Street area of east Belfast at around 11pm on Sunday evening. Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 quoting reference 547 of 13/11/17, or if they wish to remain anonymous Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

Two men arrested on Wednesday over the Dee Street incident were released later that night without charge.

Loyalist sources told Sunday Life that the young men who attacked Jim Wilson had been joking in the Welders with a group of UDA members.

Among these paramilitaries was veteran loyalist Davy McMaster Snr - an ex-life sentence UDA prisoner, who was not involved in the brawl. Also present was Charter NI employee Gareth Beacom, who quickly left when the fighting began and did not involve himself.

The drug dealers who beat Wilson work for convicted drug baron Ian 'Monkey' Smith (46), who recently served a 14-month prison sentence for possessing £250,000 of cocaine with intent to supply.

"The fellas who attacked Bimbo had been mouthing off to people all day," explained a loyalist source.

"They were coked off their heads and they started on an innocent young lad for nothing. When Bimbo tried to intervene to calm things he was attacked and he ended up getting a bad beating along with his grandson."

Although not members of the UDA, Wilson's attackers enjoy protection from the terror gang.

Their drug lord boss Monkey Smith, the brother of jailed hitman Jamie Smith, pays money to the UDA in return for being allowed to deal in east Belfast.

Another senior figure in this criminal enterprise is Johnny 'Orange' Smyth (33), who served a lengthy prison sentence for attempted murder, GBH and possessing a firearm.

"The only reason the drug dealers were in the Welders on Remembrance Sunday is because they have the protection of the UDA," added another source. "It was sickening to see them sitting in their suits, clearly drugged off their heads, abusing people.

"As the day went on they got worse and after the match (Northern Ireland drew 0-0 with Switzerland in a World Cup qualifier) was over they were spoiling for a fight. They were slagging Bimbo saying he was east Belfast MP, which stands for 'Mouth-Piece' because he's never off the Nolan Show."

The Remembrance Sunday brawl will raise further questions about the east Belfast UDA's cosy relationship with the DUP.

Although up to its neck in criminality the terror gang enjoys a close working relationship with the party.

This continues despite it being proved the UDA is involved in drug dealing, extortion, money-lending and violent assaults like that on the Wilsons last weekend.

Sources in the terror gang claim its east Belfast boss 'Millions' Birch wants to maintain his working relationship with the DUP "at all costs".

"Birchy will be furious when he finds out about exactly what went on in the Welders," said an insider.

"The last thing he wants is confrontation with the east Belfast UVF, which is far bigger than the east Belfast UDA.

"He's also paranoid about the media coverage of his links to the DUP and is worried Charter NI could lose the support of the party which would lead to the funding drying up."

"Birchy being in Australia when this all kicked off doesn't help," added our source.

"His men running about wild when he's away, especially being full of drugs on Remembrance Sunday, makes him look weak and shows that he has no control over them."

Jim Wilson has been keeping a low profile since last weekend's attack.

Friends say he was shocked by the ferocity of the assault on both him and his grandson as they were only trying to clam people down.

One revealed: "Bimbo has taken it really badly, he's more worried about Dylan than himself to be honest."

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