26 February 2006

LVF drugs runner back in prison after being caught

Sunday Life

Ciaran McGuigan
26 February 2006

A drugs runner who was caught transporting dope belonging to the LVF was last night back behind bars after going on the run from an Ulster jail.

Redmond Dougherty was returned to Maghaberry Prison last Thursday night by police, more than five months after he went on the run.

Dad-of-five Dougherty (39), of Glenlea Park in Belfast, had been serving a two-year sentence after being caught with £50,000 worth of cannabis in a car at Garnerville in June 2004.

He admitted possessing the cannabis with the intention of supplying it to others and of possessing a quantity of Ecstasy.

He claimed that he had been forced to collect the drugs by a paramilitary organisation that he refused to name.

At the time the Garnerville area was an LVF stronghold, where drugs rackets were being controlled by close associates of murdered LVF commander Stephen Warnock.

Dougherty absconded from jail last October after been granted temporary release.

His re-capture came just hours after convicted murderer Stephen Jeffrey Wilson (38), was returned to jail after giving two prison guards and a probation officer the slip.

Wilson had been allowed out of Maghaberry Prison for six hours to visit his elderly father and his mother's grave when he gave two prison guards and a probation officer the slip.

He is serving a life sentence for the murder of Brendan Kevin Kelly in Brighton in 1987.

There are currently 12 other prisoners on the run from Ulster's jails, several of whom have evaded capture for a number of years.

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