Supergrass trial witness unfit to give evidence

Police officers maintain a presence outside Laganside Courts in Belfast as the so-called supergrass trial continues. Photo by Jonathan Porter/Presseye
Police officers maintain a presence outside Laganside Courts in Belfast as the so-called supergrass trial continues. Photo by Jonathan Porter/Presseye
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THE loyalist supergrass trial had to be adjourned for the day on Tuesday (September 20) because witness Robert Stewart was deemed unfit to give evidence.

When he took the stand at Belfast Crown Court on Tuesday morning, 37-year-old Stewart said he felt unwell, had a severe headache and had not been sleeping.

After he was examined by a doctor, the judge decided to adjourn the hearing. The trial was due to continue on Wednesday (September 21).

Stewart, who has been testifying against 14 men, including alleged former UVF commander Mark Haddock, has already faced several days of cross-examination from two defence lawyers.

The 14 defendants, including six men from Newtownabbey - Alexander Thomas Wood, 35, from Milewater Way, Jason Loughlin, 35, of Bryson Court, David Samuel McCrum, 32, from Beechgrove Drive, William Hinds, 46, from Ballycraigy Gardens, Mark Thompson, 36, of Ballyvesey Green, and David Smart, 37, of Milewater Close - face a total of 97 charges.

Nine of the accused, including Haddock, are charged with murdering UDA boss Tommy English at his Ballyduff home during a bloody loyalist feud in October 2000.

The 14 defendants, who are represented by 24 barristers and eight firms of solicitors, all deny the litany of charges against them.

The trial continues and is expected to last for up to three months.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...