04 June 2006

Ex-cop's fury at 'licence to kill' agent

Sunday Life

By Stephen Gordon
04 June 2006

JOHNSTON Brown - the retired CID detective who says shot loyalist Mark Haddock was given a "licence to kill" by Special Branch officers - says he is appalled that police have not investigated his claims.

Mr Brown says he has felt like a "voice in the wilderness" after revealing how a gang of UVF killers from Mount Vernon were allowed to kill and kill again.

He says Raymond McCord, who son Raymond jnr was brutally murdered by a UVF gang, is right to demand that Chief Sir Hugh Orde have Haddock questioned.

And he says the PSNI appeared more concerned that revelations in his book Into The Dark would breach official secrets rather than investigate the allegations that a serial killer (Haddock) and his murderous gang became untouchables.

"Haddock was at large and was a threat to public safety but the police never came to speak me," said Mr Brown.

"No one from the Historical Enquiries team has come to talk to me about these murders," he said.

"How loud do you have to shout? The police were trying to ignore what I was saying."

Mr Brown also revealed how Police Ombudsman investigators had to switch the venue of a meeting with him in 2004 because of Haddock.

"I was to have met them in the La Mon House Hotel but the venue had to be switched because it was discovered Mark Haddock was meeting his Branch handlers at the same hotel."

Mr Brown said a teenage Mark Haddock was recruited as a CID informer in 1984 and became a Special Branch agent in 1991.

The ex-CID man recalls Haddock crying like a baby and confessing to the 1993 sectarian killing of Catholic woman Sharon McKenna.

But Haddock was not prosecuted because he was a protected Branch agent.

He says following Sharon McKenna's murder Haddock became a monster who was behind a string of brutal UVF slayings.

In his best selling book, Mr Brown had only identified the agent and serial killer as X but he named Haddock on a UTV Insight documentary on Thursday.

Mr Brown says other agents in the UVF gang, identified as Y and Z in the book, remain at large and were also involved in murders.

He says he has since been tipped off that the PSNI may arrest him for breaching the official secrets.

Mr Brown says that while he is protecting many official secrets he will not stand by and allow public safety to be threatened by a culture of protecting dangerous men like Haddock from arrest and conviction.

"It would not be tolerated anywhere else in the United Kingdom or, indeed, in the world. But it seems no one wants to bring Haddock to book," he said.

"I believe there should be no hiding place for these people," he said.

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