Men jailed for role in storming bar as part of loyalist gang

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Three men have been jailed for a total of 20 months for their role with a “loyalist paramilitary gang” which stormed a north Belfast pub to issue threats.

Christopher Moore, of Woodvale Drive, Belfast and Andrew Morrow, of Lower Ballyboley Road, Ballyclare, both aged 27, were each jailed for six months after they admitted affray.

David Thomas Majury (49), of Wood Green in Holywood, Co Down, who also pleaded guilty to unlawfully displaying force and affray, was sentenced to eight months in prison.

Belfast Crown Court had heard that up to 20 men arrived at The Mount Bar in North Queen Street on the evening of February 21, 2018. The men, who were either masked or had hoods or scarves up to conceal their faces, stormed the bar in the Tiger’s Bay district.

Judge Kevin Finnegan QC watched almost 20 minutes of television footage taken from the bar’s CCTV system which had captured the incident. It showed car loads of men arriving on the streets outside the bar before they rushed into the licensed premises where a number of women and young children were also present.

The footage showed customers being directed into a corner by the mob before the message was delivered by one of the masked men.

Witnesses told police that a list of five names was read out and warnings were issued that their alleged anti-social behaviour would not be tolerated.

Following the incident, police contacted all five people to issue warnings about their safety.

Judge Finnegan said that although “not a punch was thrown or a drink spilled”, society could not tolerate people taking the law into their own hands “whether is in a street, on a street corner or in a public house”.

He said a much more serious incident could have developed if police had not arrived on the scene as quick as they did and imposed custodial sentences.