29/09/2006

Leading loyalist cleared of attempted murder

Leading north Belfast loyalist Mark Haddock has today been cleared of the attempted murder of a nightclub doorman in December 2002.

However, the former UVF commander originally from the Mount Vernon area of north Belfast, was found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent for his part in a hatchet and hammer attack on Trevor Gowdy outside a social club in Monkstown, County Antrim.

Haddock, 37, who is at the centre of a major Police Ombudsman inquiry into collusion between loyalist murderers and rogue Special Branch officers, was also convicted of false imprisonment and setting fire to the victim's car.

Haddock, who was said to be too ill to attend the court after surviving an attempt on his life, in May this year when he was shot six times, appeared via video-link from Maghaberry Prison, near Lisburn where he is currently on remand.

Speaking during the hearing, case Judge, Mr Justice Weatherup said: "I am satisfied that Haddock was present with and was in command of the other three persons attacking in concert and together they subjected Gowdy to a severe beating, that Haddock struck Gowdy with an implement, that the four men left the scene and that Gowdy`s car was removed from the scene and destroyed."

Trevor Gowdy was found lying unconscious on the road outside the social club in Monkstown by police in December 2002.

He had been beaten on the head and body by an iron bar, a hatchet and a bat.

During the attack, the victim suffered an "open" fractured skull, broken leg as well as numerous cuts and bruises.

Since leaving hospital he has remained under the witness protection programme.

(EF/SP)

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

25 July 2018
22-Year-Old Charged In Connection With L'Derry Shooting Incident
A 22-year-old man will appear before Dungannon Magistrates' Court charged in connection with a shooting incident in Co L'Derry. On Friday 09 March, 2018, a man was found in a car on the Cairndaisy Road with a gunshot wound to his head. He is continuing to be treated for his injury.
07 June 2006
Second man remanded over loyalist shooting
A second man has today been charged with the attempted murder of leading loyalist Mark Haddock last Tuesday. Ronald Trevor Bowe, 29, and from Mount Vernon Gardens has also been reported to the Public Prosecution Service for alleged membership of the UVF. Mr Bowe replied "not guilty" when the charge was put to him today at Belfast Magistrates Court.
05 June 2006
Belfast man remanded over loyalist shooting
A 36-year-old man has been remanded in custody charged with the attempted murder of leading loyalist Mark Haddock last Tuesday. Darren Stewart Moore from the Mount Vernon Estate, north Belfast today denied trying to kill the alleged Special Branch agent.
02 June 2006
Two arrested over Haddock gun attack
Two men have been arrested in connection with the attempted murder of leading loyalist paramilitary Mark Haddock. Police have confirmed that one man was arrested earlier this morning, with the second being taken into custody this afternoon. Both men are helping police with their inquires while a search operation is ongoing.
18 January 2006
Attempted murder case postponed until May
The trial of Belfast man Mark Haddock, who is accused of attacking and leaving for dead a former army boxing champ, has been adjourned until May 2. The Belfast Crown Court trial was adjourned today until the victim, Trevor Gowdy, is pronounced fit enough by doctors to give evidence.