Adair granted leave for review of jail decision

Notorious loyalist Johnny Adair’s legal bid to overturn an order by the Secretary of State sending him back to prison passed its first hurdle in the Belfast High Court today.

After hearing legal argument, Mr Justice Kerr ruled that Adair could apply for a judicial review of Mr Murphy's decision. And while Adair was not in court to hear the ruling, his close associate, and former UDP representative, John White said: "All he wants is an opportunity to defend the allegation made against him."

The case had been scheduled for Monday, but was delayed when Adair’s lawyer, Frank O’Donoghue QC applied for the adjournment of Adair’s application for a writ of Habeas Corpus.

Adair claims his return to prison and continued detention is unjust and contrary to law as well as being in breach of his human rights.

Last week, Secretary of State Paul Murphy revoked Adair’s licence on police advice and he can now be held in Maghaberry jail until 2005.

Adair was released last March having served 50% of his sentence. However on 10 January, Mr Murphy said he was satisfied that Adair was a “danger to others and while he was at liberty was likely to commit further offences”.

The move to return him was prompted by the escalating feud within the UDA over the expulsion of long-time members John White and Adair.

That feud has seen three murders in recent weeks, including that of 22-year-old Jonathan Stewart was shot dead on Boxing Day while at a party in Manor Street in north Belfast. A lone hooded gunman burst into the house and singled out Mr Stewart and shot him in the back of the head.

Detectives believe Mr Stewart was shot because he was the nephew of an opponent of Johnny Adair.

Days after the killing, Roy Green, a convicted drug dealer and a senior figure within the ranks of the UDA – and close associate of Adair – was shot dead outside a pub in south Belfast.


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

19 February 2020
Appeal Marks One Year Since David Murphy's Murder
Police have renewed their appeal for information on the first anniversary of the "callous" murder of David Murphy in Co Antrim. The 52 year-old was shot dead at his home on the Church Road, Glenwherry in the days leading up to Tuesday 19 February 2019. His friend discovered the body.
17 February 2020
Paul Quinn: Parents Hold Talks At Stormont
The bereaved parents of Paul Quinn have taken the matter of their son's murder to Stormont. Breege Quinn repeated her call for Sinn Fein's Conor Murphy to publicly state that her son was not a criminal. The 21 year-old was beaten to death in a barn near Oram, Co Monaghan in 2007. His mother maintains that the IRA was behind the killing.
11 February 2020
Four Arrests In Lyra McKee Murder Probe
Four men have been arrested in connection with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee. Police apprehended the individuals, aged 20, 27, 29 and 52 in L'Derry this morning, Tuesday 11 February. Lyra was shot dead in the Creggan area of the city on 18 April last year during a night of dissident republican rioting.
06 February 2020
Paul Quinn: Conor Murphy Issues Apology
Finance Minister Conor Murphy has issued an apology over claims he made that an IRA murder victim was a criminal. Paul Quinn's family accepted the apology but said it doesn't meet their request of clearing their son's name. The 21 year-old from Co Armagh was beaten to death in Co Monaghan in 2007.
24 January 2020
Civil Servants Stage 24-Hour Strike
Thousands of civil servants have walked out of their posts as they stage a 24-hour strike over pay. Members of Northern Ireland's largest public sector union are taking action to demand a decent pay increase and protection of their terms and conditions of employment.