A couple have been left suicidal after they were wrongly held in jail for four weeks when cops mistook flour bought to make chicken nuggets for £50,000 worth of drugs.
While innocent Robert 'Birdie' Willis and Vera Willis were behind bars, the UDA smashed up their home in the Finaghy area of south Belfast having falsely accused them of drug dealing.
The husband and wife were finally freed from prison last Tuesday without an apology from the PSNI when tests confirmed the flour found in their kitchen contained no traces of MDMA powder.
Showing Sunday Life around her wrecked Kinnegar Road home, an emotional Vera explained how she told cops she had bought the flour to make KFC-style chicken.
Even though police field-tests conducted at the scene indicated the white powder did not have traces of drugs, the Willises were arrested and charged.
Vera said: "I've been left feeling suicidal after being treated like a criminal and locked up in jail for a month, all over a container of flour.
"I am going to make a complaint to the Police Ombudsman. Mentally what my husband and I have been put through is unreal. No one has apologised to us - not the police, not the PPS (Public Prosecution Service), not the UDA."
Cops who raided the Willis's home also seized £64,000, which belonged to their dog-breeding son Nathan. He says the cash, which has still not been returned, came from the sale of expensive French and British bulldogs.
Nathan, who admits to having been involved in crime "years ago", was contacted by the UDA after his parents were wrongly arrested on February 1. He said that during a phone call with a senior figure in the terror gang's south Belfast unit, he explained the powder found in Robert and Vera's home was in fact flour.
But he was accused of lying and last Sunday a UDA gang wrecked the family's home, smashing the windows and television with bricks, and throwing paint around the front of the property.
The PSNI is investigating the attack, with a spokeswoman saying: "Police are investigating an incident of criminal damage in south Belfast. Shortly before 10pm on February 28 police received a report that windows had been smashed at a property in the Kinnegar Road area. Inquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances around the incident."
However, the Willises hold the PSNI partly responsible as it was officers' blunder that led to Robert and Vera being arrested and charged. "A UDA man from Lisburn gave the order to attack the house," Nathan told Sunday Life.
"The UDA need to take red faces over this. When I spoke to one of its members he told me my mum and dad wouldn't have been remanded if drugs had not been found. I tried explaining it was flour, but he wasn't interested.
"People now think my parents are drug dealers. They're saying we've got a brass-neck coming back here to the house. It was all over social media. People were on calling us scumbags."
The most important thing now for Vera and Robert Willis, who have had all charges against them dropped, is to clear their names and be able to live in peace free from paramilitary and police attention.
The couple have never been in trouble in their lives, and while on remand charged with possessing criminal property and drug dealing, they had two bail applications rejected by the High Court.
During both hearings police opposed the husband and wife being freed on the basis of what turned out to be flour found in their home was the dangerous chemical MDMA which is used to manufacture ecstasy pills.
Vera said: "The most hurtful and depressing part was seeing our names in a newspaper with the amount of money and drugs mentioned.
"I suffer from depression and I take anti-depression tablets. This has made my illness a hell of a lot worse."
After being remanded in custody, both Vera and Robert were forced to endure two weeks of behind bars isolation to make sure they were not infected with coronavirus.
During that period Vera said she was unable to wash properly before being moved to a wing at Hydebank Women's Prison with murderers and suspected sex offenders.
Looking back on his month-long ordeal in Maghaberry Prison, Robert Willis says the most frustrating thing is the length of time it took police to confirm his innocence.
He explained: "When the police were searching my kitchen I heard them say they found white powder and they had to test it.
"It was in a plastic container.
"I said, 'Listen that's flour' and the policeman said, 'No, we'll have to take it'. A short time later the policeman said to me, 'Good news, it isn't drugs'. They had done a field test on it which proved it wasn't drugs so I have no idea why they ended up charging me."
Robert revealed how a detective placed the container before him during questioning at Musgrave Street PSNI station.
He added: "He lifted out the flour and set it down, and asked me do I know what it is? I said, 'Aye, flour'.
"The detective said, 'How do you know it's flour?' I said, 'Vera used it the week before to make KFC-style chicken. Vera bought it to do the bloody chicken'.
"I told the detective the PSNI's own field test confirmed it wasn't drugs, but he didn't want to know.
"He said it was MDMA, I said it's flour, he said, 'We've tested it, it's MDMA', I said, 'It isn't'."
Surveying his smashed-up home, Robert, who is too embarrassed to be photographed, says the episode has made him lose faith in both the PSNI and justice system.
Shrugging his shoulders, he said: "I used to have a lot of respect for the police. But you see the justice system and the police at work, now I have no respect."
When asked about the case, a PSNI spokesman said: "Inquiries are continuing, and as this is an ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further.
"Anyone with a complaint regarding police actions should contact the office of the Police Ombudsman."