Loyalist leader in court on murder charge

A loyalist leader will appear in court today charged with gunning down a rival during a bloody paramilitary feud in the North.

A loyalist leader will appear in court today charged with gunning down a rival during a bloody paramilitary feud in the North.

Mark Haddock, 40, was charged last night with the murder of Tommy English, a member of the Ulster Defence Association.

English, 40, was gunned down in front of his wife and children in north Belfast in October 2000.

Haddock has been named in court as a senior figure in the rival loyalist paramilitary group the Ulster Volunteer Force, which at the time was involved in a violent turf war with the UDA.

Originally from the Mount Vernon estate in north Belfast, he is currently in jail nearing the end of a 10-year term for attacking a nightclub doorman.

In January 2007 he was reported to have been a police Special Branch agent following the publication of an investigation by former Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan.

She found that police colluded with Haddock’s north Belfast UVF gang – a group that was behind more than a dozen murders in the area.

He was arrested at Maghaberry Prison near Lisburn, Co Antrim, yesterday morning and taken to a police detention centre for questioning by officers belonging to the Historical Enquiries Team, a special unit set up to investigate unsolved killings during the Troubles.

Haddock survived a murder attempt in 2006, but was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and false imprisonment for attacking Trevor Gowdy outside a social club on the outskirts of Belfast in December 2002.

Last month two brothers – David Stewart, 38, and Robert Stewart, 34 – from Newtownabbey, north Belfast, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting Mr English’s murder. Both also admitted membership of the UVF.

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