Lying Dee Stitt shoots himself in foot - 2013 boasts expose UDA lies
Desperate Dee Stitt's claim that he left the UDA in 1992 is today exposed as an outright lie - by himself.
The flashy dressing crime boss claimed in newspaper interviews that he left the terror gang when it was outlawed 26 years ago.
But Stitt obviously forgot that he boasted to the BBC in 2013 that he was in the UDA at the time of loyalist flag protests that year.
In a 2013 interview for a Radio Ulster special on the UDA and the flag protests, the convicted armed robber was candid.
"Yes, I've been to a protest myself in north Down and Bangor. Three protests I've been at as a UDA individual and as a member of the community."
Stitt also told Radio Ulster: "I'm Dee Stitt, I would represent and speak on behalf of the UDA in north Down."
The BBC reporter asked Stitt why the UDA still existed.
"Because we're part of the community, we live in the community. Where are we going to go?" he said.
"We live here, we live in stinky street with everybody else. Where we going to go? Go to the moon on a rocket - go away UDA? We actually live here, we're from here, we're having kids here, we work here, where we going to go?" added Stitt who claimed the UDA was playing "a positive role" in communities.
Desperate for some good public relations, Stitt spoke to the News Letter and Irish News last week and did a u-turn on his 2013 claims to be a UDA man living on "stinky street".
He spoke out to deny being a UDA chief who leads a crime gang. He also moaned about the impact investigations by this newspaper are having on his family life. But loyalist sources believe the under pressure Stitt has shot himself in the foot again.
Stitt admitted sending his youngest daughter to a private school and complained she did not get invited to birthday parties or sleepovers "because of me, because of all this media attention around me".
He also hit out at "the perception" that the Bangor cafe business he runs with his wife Jackie is "a money laundering operation".
"I have a private business; me and my wife have a private business. My wife works in that; she runs that. I went down and got a business loan and that funded that private business ... the perception 'oh, he's laundering money; that's drug money' - absolute poppycock."
Meanwhile, his wife Jackie's flashy new Jaguar car has been drawing snide remarks from Kilcooley loyalists who mock Stitt's loud clothes and lifestyle.
Stitt's public relations onslaught came after his home was raided by the Paramilitary Crime Taskforce as part of an anti-drug dealing investigation, and his gang threatened the life of a journalist for the second time - a warning confirmed by Chief Constable George Hamilton.
Both incidents made a mockery of UDA claims at a press conference last month that it supports the PSNI and will expel any member found to be involved in criminality. Stubborn Stitt attended the event with churchmen despite being told not to by UDA south Belfast boss Jackie McDonald, and UVF representatives.
Under increasing pressure, he spoke to journalists last weekend.
But Stitt once again fell flat on his face after revealing he had submitted a proposal for Stormont to pay his organisation, Charter NI, to help the UDA effectively disband in east Belfast and north Down.
Stitt's call for cash for the illegal gang to "move on" was treated with widespread derision.
But his biggest gaffe was brazenly claiming he left the paramilitary group in 1992 when it was outlawed. In 1993, lying Stitt was convicted of carrying out a UDA armed robbery and possession of firearms. He was sentenced to seven years in jail and served his time on the loyalist wing of the Maze before being freed under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
Stitt was kneecapped by the UDA in 2001 for his role in a bid to oust its former east Belfast leader Jim Gray. The terrorists had initially planned to kill him and they killed co-conspirator Geordie Legge, but Stitt was saved when Milltown murderer Michael Stone pleaded for mercy on his behalf.
In 2005 Stitt's old friend Jimmy Birch was made East Belfast 'brigadier' and installed Stitt as north Down commander, a role he continues to hold.