'UVF chief' shot while out on bail

A top loyalist paramilitary was shot near North Belfast today.

A top loyalist paramilitary was shot near North Belfast today.

Mark Haddock, 36, was shot in the Mossley area of Newtownabbey just before 4pm.

He is understood to have suffered multiple injuries and was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for emergency treatment.

Haddock, suspected of being a leading Ulster Volunteer Force man, has been on trial on attempted murder charges.

He was out on bail while a judge considered the case against him following an attack on a nightclub doorman near where the shooting happened three-and-a-half years’ ago.

His former associates in the UVF are the chief suspects in what police are treating as a murder bid.

Haddock was recently tried for the attempted murder of nightclub doorman Trevor Gowdy who was found unconscious in the Monkstown estate in Newtownabbey in December 2002.

Mr Gowdy was attacked with an iron bar and a hatchet.

The trial began at Belfast Crown Court last year but was halted after Mr Gowdy broke down in the witness box in November and was deemed medically unfit to give evidence.

Based in the Mount Vernon area of north Belfast, Haddock is believed to be a senior Ulster Volunteer Force member.

He was also questioned by police about the murder in 1997 of Raymond McCord Jnr – whose killing is the focus of an investigation by Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan’s office.

Mr McCord, 22, was beaten to death and his body left at a quarry.

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