Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

UVF Ian Ogle murder suspect back on streets days after bail revoked

Jonny Brown
Jonny Brown
Ciaran Barnes

By Ciaran Barnes

A UVF murder suspect is back walking the streets five days after having his bail revoked for breaching strict conditions.

Jonny Brown, who is charged with being part of the gang which stabbed Ian Ogle to death last January, spent the new year in prison after being remanded in custody at Belfast Magistrates Court on December 30. But he was released on bail by the High Court last Friday having spent just five nights behind bars.

Police expressed concerns about his behaviour while freed, particularly his association with other loyalists listed as ‘suspects’ in legal papers viewed by Sunday Life.

The 33-year-old was seen in the company of Alan ‘Bo’ Ervine (38) and Greg Edgar (28) in The Stokers Halt pub on the Upper Newtownards Road in east Belfast last month. The trio were also witnessed drinking in the nearby Horatio Todd’s bar in the Ballyhackamore area.

Brown’s bail conditions ban him from being in the company of Edgar, who is currently contesting charges of threatening to kill slain Ian Ogle’s son Ryan Johnston. This incident is understood to have been central to Brown’s bail being revoked last Monday.

But on Friday he was freed again by the High Court after agreeing to wear a tag and to observe a 10pm to 6am curfew. Brown is charged with murdering Ian Ogle in January 2019, alongside prominent east Belfast loyalists Mark Sewell (40) and Glenn Rainey (33).

The East Belfast UVF later admitted its members were involved, but insisted the killing was not sanctioned at a leadership level.

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Ogle was targeted after getting involved in a brawl with a UVF man earlier that evening. For the 18 months prior to his death he had been under threat from the terror gang having refused to show up for a pre-arranged punishment beating.

In the hours after the murder, Jonny Brown and Glenn Rainey flew out to Thailand from Dublin Airport where they remained for over four weeks, despite police appeals for them to return to Northern Ireland for questioning.

Rainey and fellow murder suspect Mark Sewell are currently on bail with strict conditions, including a night-time curfew and the confiscation of their passports.

Ian Ogle
Ian Ogle

In last week’s Sunday Life, Ian Ogle’s daughter Toni Johnston warned the UVF is “out of control”.

“As far as I’m concerned, the organisation is out of control and it is only a matter of time before its members kill someone else from this community,” she said.

cbarnes@sundaylife.co.uk

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