Ex-Loyalist cleared of bouncer murder

A top loyalist turned Special Branch agent was cleared today of trying to kill a nightclub bouncer.

However, ex-Ulster Volunteer Force commander Mark Haddock, 37, was found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent for his part in a brutal hatchet and hammer assault on Trevor Gowdy outside a social club in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, in December 2002.

Haddock, 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 an arson attack on the victim’s car.

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