29/01/2018

Loyalist Supergrass Sentenced To Over Six Years Behind Bars

Loyalist supergrass Gary Haggarty has been sentenced to six and a half years behind bars for 202 terror offences.

The former loyalist paramilitary turned police informer previously pleaded guilty to five murders.

He was originally sentenced to 35 years, however he had the time reduced after he co-operated with the police.

He also admitted five attempted murders, including against police officers; 23 counts of conspiracy to murder; directing terrorism; and membership of a proscribed organisation.

He has already served three years on remand.

SDLP MLA John Dallat has said that victims are sorely disappointed and feel let down by the scale of the reduced sentence.

He said: "Relatives of those murdered by UVF death gangs with the involvement of Gary Haggarty don't believe they got justice in Court 13 today. While they were prepared for some 'discount' for Haggarty they didn't expect the scale of the reduction he has received for a series of heinous murders.

"After committing despicable crimes, it feels like he's been given a 'get out of jail free' card.
News Image
"Not only will Haggarty walk free but he has named none of the police officers who were involved in collusion on a grand scale.

"It is unacceptable that so many innocent people died and those with blood on their hands get a 'discount' on their sentences while their minders go free.

"I sat in court today with families as atrocity after atrocity committed by Haggarty was catalogued. It was harrowing and a reminder of the pain that victims and survivors continue to endure as a result of a political failure to meet their needs."

Sinn Féin justice spokesperson Raymond McCartney said the scale of collusion in the case is "appalling".

He said: "The families have received neither truth nor justice. Gary Haggarty pleaded guilty to over 200 offences, including five murders, all of which were committed while working as a police informer.

"This reduced sentence means that he is effectively getting away with murder.

"But families are also being denied the truth around allegations that Haggarty's RUC Special Branch may have ignored warnings about murder and may have covered up his involvement in murders and attempted murders over many years."

(CD/LM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

29 May 2018
Police Renew Appeal For Information On Murder Of Stefan Zait
Detectives from the PSNI's Serious Crime Branch investigating the murder of 45-year-old Stefan Zait in Ardglass have renewed their appeal for information one week after he was seriously assaulted. Stefan was originally from Romania and had been living in Northern Ireland for six years.
10 September 2019
Images Released Of New IRA Bomb In L'Derry
Images of the bomb left in a residential street in L'Derry in an attempt to murder police officers have been released by police. The improvised explosive device can be seen in a parked car in close proximity to houses and a pavement. Police said the bomb would have killed or maimed anyone nearby had it detonated.
09 July 2002
NI religious attitudes hardening
There is an increasing hardening of attitudes by both Protestants and Catholics towards living, working and learning together according to new research. The research conducted by the University of Ulster reveals that Protestants’ and Catholics’ perceptions of each other are becoming increasingly negative.
13 September 2019
Suspect Due In Court Over Car-Bomb Murder Bid
A 38-year-old man is due in court for a number of offences, including attempted murder, after an under car-bomb was planted in a ploy to kill a serving PSNI officer. The suspect was detained in Belleek, Co Fermanagh on Wednesday morning, 11 September.
13 September 2019
New Footage Released In Malcolm McKeown Murder Probe
Detectives investigating the shooting of Malcolm McKeown in Co Down last month have released new CCTV footage of events at the filling station where he was murdered. The father of three was struck down outside Dewarts Garage in Waringstown on the evening of Monday 19 August.