Glasgow & West Scotland

UDA murder plot trial hears police tapes of suspects

The trial of four men who allegedly planned to kill two former UDA leaders in Scotland has heard police tapes which are said to record the plot.

Anton Duffy, 39, Martin Hughes, 36, Paul Sands, 31, and John Gorman, 58, deny planning to kill Johnny "Mad Dog" Adair and Sam "Skelly" McCrory.

A police tape said to have recorded three accused was played to jurors.

It featured a conversation in which weapons and tactics were discussed for a "hit" on Mr McCrory.

The High Court in Glasgow has already heard that Mr Adair and his best friend Mr McCrory were both former members of prohibited Loyalist terror organisations the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and its paramilitary wing the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF).

Police surveillance

They were involved in the Good Friday agreement in 1998 which brought peace to Northern Ireland and both have been living in Ayrshire for a number of years.

Jurors heard that two of the accused, Mr Duffy and Mr Hughes, drove from Glasgow on 1 October 2013 in a silver Mercedes Jeep and met up in Ayrshire with Mr Sands.

Advocate depute Paul Kearney, prosecuting, told the jury of 10 women and five men that the car had been bugged and was under police surveillance throughout the journey.

Extracts of the tapes of the three meeting and driving to where Mr McCrory lived in Ayrshire were played in court while Det Sgt Douglas Bryden gave evidence.

Mr Kearney asked Det Sgt Bryden: "Do we hear Paul Sands say: 'There are so many places you could hit this guy. It's unbelievable. I mean I could go and chap his door right now and we could probably put him in the boot if three of us could manage it, know what I mean?'."

The police officer replied: "Yes."

The prosecutor also asked: "Do we hear Antoin Duffy say that they need 'a sawn-off and a revolver as the back up.'"

Again Det Sgt Bryden replied: "Yes."

Nearby school

As the Jeep approaches the street in which McCrory lives, Mr Kearney asked: "Is Sands heard to say: 'This is the road he walks every single day. You can't go wrong. It is a straight road.'"

Det Sgt Bryden told the court: "That's correct."

Later on in the tape there is a discussion about cameras at a nearby school and shops.

The three men speak of the best vantage points to get their target.

Among the charges, it is also claimed that Mr Duffy and Mr Gorman were part of a plan to murder the governor of Glasgow's Barlinnie jail, Derek McGill, in a car bomb attack.

Three other men - Craig Convery, 37, Gary Convery, 34, and Gordon Brown, 29 - deny charges linked to the alleged terror plans.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between August 2010 and January 2014.

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