Hated bully told he’s not welcome on jail’s paramilitary wing
A leading loyalist has been caged for waging a campaign of terror against a vulnerable woman who he battered five times in three months.
Taxi driver Thompson Beckett pleaded guilty to five counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, but police suspect he attacked his frightened victim dozens of times.
One PSNI source described the case as among the worst instances of domestic violence they had encountered in a 20-year career.
“What he subjected that woman to was horrific. She must have went to bed every night fearing for her life,” they said.
Bullyboy Beckett used his loyalist links to intimidate the woman and her family, believing that she would be too frightened to make witness statements against him.
But when the Newtownabbey cabbie was himself beaten by the UVF in a punishment-style attack last year, his aura of invincibility suddenly came to an end.
Days later, he again assaulted the woman outside her home in the Rathcoole estate. But on this occasion, neighbours phoned police and Beckett was arrested after dragging her by the hair.
He was charged with five attacks on his victim, crimes the shamed 44-year-old admitted at Belfast Crown Court last week on the eve of a trial.
These included two beatings he drunkenly inflicted on her after an Eleventh night bonfire in Rathcoole.
Beckett is being held in jail ahead of his sentencing on January 21.
Any hopes the thug harboured about getting on the loyalist wing at Maghaberry Prison have been dashed, with senior UVF and UDA figures telling him he is not wanted.
A Rathcoole loyalist told us: “There is no chance that he will get on the wing. Beckett is absolutely hated.”
Beckett is from a well-known Rathcoole family, some of whom have tough-guy reputations, but according to locals, unlike his relatives, he was never handy with his fists, something which led to him developing a complex.
“Thompson is the runt of the litter and he tried to compensate for that lack of strength by beating women,” added our source.
“It was well known that he was battering that woman for years. Thank God she found the courage to tell the police what he was doing.”
While being despised for being a woman-beater, Beckett is also hated for ratting out his friends to the UVF.
He was summoned to an east Antrim social club last year and attacked by masked members of the terror gang, who accused him of criminality not connected to his domestic abuse.
During the assault, Beckett named several other loyalists as being involved, some of whom were completely innocent childhood friends.
These individuals were later forced to pay fines totalling tens of thousands of pounds to the UVF.
Since then, they have harboured a major grudge against Beckett and are suspected of spray-painting graffiti about him around Newtownabbey.
This is one of the reasons why he is so desperate to serve his sentence on the loyalist wing of Maghaberry Prison — in case he encounters any of these men behind bars.
“Thompson Beckett is a classic bully, always relying on the back-up of others to intimidate people who he thought were weaker,” said our source.