Loyalist remains 'critical' after shooting

A leading loyalist remains in a critical condition in hospital, after being shot in Newtownabbey yesterday.

Mark Haddock, 36, and originally from the Mount Vernon area of north Belfast, was shot close to his home in the Mossley area of the Doagh Road shortly before 3.30pm yesterday afternoon.

He has been taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, reportedly suffering from a number of gunshot wounds.

Loyalists are being blamed for carrying out the attack, however PUP leader David Ervine said he believed the UVF would have nothing to gain from carrying out the shooting.

Mr Haddock, who is suspected of being a senior member of the Ulster Volunteer Force, is currently on bail facing a charge of attempted murder.

He was accused of attempting to kill nightclub doorman Trevor Gowdy in Monkstown in December 2002.

Mr Gowdy was found unconscious in the Monkstown Estate. He had been severely beaten with an iron bar and a hatchet.

The trial began at Belfast Crown Court last year, but was stopped after Mr Gowdy broke down in the witness box and was later deemed medically unfit to continue. Earlier this month, Mr Gowdy was granted permission to testify from a secret location in England.

Mr Haddock was also questioned in relation to the murder of Raymond McCord Jr in 1997.

Ulster Unionist East Antrim Assembly Member Roy Beggs Jnr said he "utterly condemned" those behind the shooting.

He said: “I would call on anyone with information to immediately contact the police. The perpetrators of this barbaric act must be swiftly taken off the streets and subjected to the fullest rigour of the law.”

The Democratic Unionist MP for North Belfast, Nigel Dodds, said: "This is an appalling incident which will be condemned by all right thinking people."

Police in Newtownabbey have appealed for anyone who may have witnessed the shooting, or who may have seen a black Peugeot 309 in the are between the times of 3.30pm and 3.50pm to contact them on 0845 600 8000, or anonymously on the Crimestoppers number on 0800 555 111.


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