28 October 2005

Bail refused in murder bid case


A man accused under parliamentary privilege of being a UVF killer and police informer has been denied bail.

Mark Haddock, 36, of Mount Vernon in Belfast has been in custody since August 2003 charged with the attempted murder of a nightclub doorman.

A police inspector told the court his release would put lives in danger.

The defence argued that his length of detention prior to the start of a trial was unreasonable, but a judge said his release could lead to public disorder.

The bail application was heard at Belfast Crown Court on Friday.

A police inspector said the accused had been a "leading member of the UVF and drug dealer" for some time.

Victim beaten

Defence pointed out that his co-accused in the case - who had been in custody for the same period of time - was released on bail last week.

However, the judge denied bail, accepting that Mr Haddock's release could lead to public disorder, and because the trial is due to start next week.

On Thursday in the Irish Parliament, the Dail, Labour leader Pat Rabbitte claimed Mr Haddock was a "UVF leader".

He alleged the accused had been implicated in a number of murders, but had escaped punishment as he was a "police informer who enjoyed protection".

Mr Haddock is accused of trying to murder nightclub doorman Trevor Gowdy who was found unconscious on the Monkstown estate in Newtownabbey in December, 2002.

Mr Gowdy, from Ballyclare, had been repeatedly stabbed and struck with a hatchet and baton.

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