Alcoholic, Drug user, Thief = Justice?…

Latest reports on the now underway supergrass ‘show trial’ have revealed that a key witness has openly admitted he is ” an alcoholic and drug user who fled NI with money stolen from his parents.” His admissions, as reported by the BBC, include confessions of being a lifelong alcoholic and user of cocaine, LSD and cannabis (among others). His services to the judiciary are being given for the price of a reduced personal sentence for serious crime. Is there ANYTHING whatsoever that can be achieved from this trial continuing, never mind running its full course?

  • Kevsterino

    Were you under the impression that the Stewarts were choir boys?

  • tacapall

    Yeah there is Quincey. Hopefully the truth will come into the public domain about the activities of the RUC special branch who allowed these people to murder at will and hopefully questions will be asked as to why are they not in the dock with them.

  • Quincy,

    I don’t think so. More than what you mention in your headline, he has admitted that he sometimes has memory problems. This is setting up to be just one more spectacular prosecution failure.

  • Well, that’s a good point, tacapall.

  • Mac

    Let me throw a question back at you Quincey. What can be achieved by stopping the trial?

  • Spud

    I would have thought that being an alcoholic thief was a requirement to getting into the UVF.
    Have to agree with Tacapall, a light should be shone on the murky dealings that the RUC special branch had with these agents of the state.

  • womble

    In the same way as drunkeness is not an excuse for crimes
    so to drug-taking cannot be used by the prosecution to cancel out testimony.
    take all these things into consideration, by all means.
    clearly the stewarts are telling the truth,
    or why else hand themselves in?

  • Littman

    “Is there ANYTHING whatsoever that can be achieved from this trial continuing”

    _

    A conviction?

  • Nunoftheabove

    The trouble with that is that I figure they’ll all cop on early doors that it’s a sham and that little light is shone into the shadows as a consequence; even if it were to be shone, it ought not to be that hard for the state to obfuscate its role with reference to the usual national security bullshit tactics as well as inferring if not stating – perhaps not entirely without some justification – that these punters’ evidence is so discredited as to be unworthy of any form of proper recognition or meritorious of a spirited rationalization.

    Still, be nice to think the spooks slept uneasily for a night or two. Breath not held though.

  • lamhdearg

    “Is there ANYTHING whatsoever that can be achieved from this trial continuing”, more money in the hands of the judiciary.

  • Yes, lamhdearg,

    But if any of the defendants have enriched themselves though pharmaceutics,e.g. and pay their own costs, then the barristers will trickle down the money and we will all be enriched.
    Acknowledgement to R.Reagan and, please note, as Frank C. would say, It’s the way I tell them.

  • BluesJazz

    Even if the prosecution has masses of corroborating evidence, why bother with introducing these characters at all? No jury would ever take their testimony into account.

    The ensemble cast on trial are a motley crew of cartoon ogres, but the opening scene in this bleak show reeks of farce.

  • Littman

    “Is there ANYTHING whatsoever that can be achieved from this trial continuing”

    _

    Certain unionists contributors seem…somewhat annoyed about Loyalist murderers getting their comeuppance.

    What happened to having equal disdain for terrorists of either hue??

  • Littman,

    I think you’re reading something into the comments that just isn’t there.
    The main beef of commenters is that the prosecution are showing a degree of ineptness from the start. They have failed spectacularly in a lot of high profile cases, with the trials either being stopped or convictions denied.

  • Littman

    I think you’re reading something into the comments that just isn’t there.
    The main beef of commenters is that the prosecution are showing a degree of ineptness from the start. They have failed spectacularly in a lot of high profile cases, with the trials either being stopped or convictions denied.

    Joe,

    The thread is young! But to my mind at least, it seems that some contributors are put out by the mere fact that a trial is taking place, rather than the prosecution’s approach thus far.

  • Limerick

    “Is there ANYTHING whatsoever that can be achieved from this trial continuing, never mind running its full course?”

    If the trial is a success then and there are convictions then we have a precedent. If we have a precedent then republicans can be put away in the same manner.

    It must be said that they are strangely silent about this trial. If republicans were on trial, in this manner, I suspect that they would have quite a lot to say about it.

  • Dec

    Quincey and the UVF again – what to think?

    ‘His services to the judiciary are being given for the price of a reduced personal sentence for serious crime.’

    Let’s bear in mind two things here: firstly he walked into Antrim police staion and admitted his involvement in serious crime. Secondly, he’s one of two key witnesses.
    I suspect that if this trial involved republicans then this thread wouldn’t exist.

    ‘Is there ANYTHING whatsoever that can be achieved from this trial continuing, never mind running its full course?’

    Perhaps that question should be directed at the English family?

  • I suspect that if this trial involved republicans then this thread wouldn’t exist.

    Utter nonsense. Check the archives.

  • tacapall

    Limerick I hope this geezer gets into the witness box

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Haddock

  • rodgerdoc

    I have to agree entirely with Quincey here we are only on day 2 of this case and one of the witnesses has admitted that for most of his life he has been an alcoholic and serious drug user – for that reason case closed already.

    A convicition based on a supergrass testimoney has to be solid it is not the evidence that gains the convicition but how credible the witness is, in this case any defence lawyer would rip this to shreds by stating that the witness was unable to remember everything or indeed how could the witness know what he saw was reality and not a drug or alcohol induced vision. Many other cases have collpased for less.

    this isnt even taking into account that the 2 men may have a grudge to bear or indeed are merely trying to get themselves a reduced term .

    I’d be very surprised if anyone is convicted due soley on these testominies

  • andnowwhat

    I would seriously like to think that the prosecution has a hell of a lot more than the testimony of the Stewart brothers.

    In fairness, the chances of getting a loyalist (never mind 2) who does not have drink and/or drug problems would be around nil.

    Hopefully the Stewarts have pointed the CPS in a direction that has allowed them to gather enough evidence to make, at lest, a decent case.

  • Mark

    andnowwhat ,

    It’s what happens when the CPS get there . I just don’t see an outcome / endgame to this . Wait and see blinks first . There’s going to be some pressure put on the two brothers before the end .

    I just hope for their sake they have enough valium to last the two months .

  • Mark

    typo – wait and see who blinks first .

  • rodgerdoc

    andnowhat

    Firstly for the record it is not the CPS it is the PPS.

    Secondly stereotyping loyalists as all being drunks and druggies quite simply is a childish remark.

    Thirdly Its called a supergrass trial because the charges primarily were brought because of the statements of the two stewarts, if there was hard evidence (enough to secure conviction) then scum like haddock and co would have been held to account before now and we would not need such a trial.

  • Mark

    Unless they were operating with the blessing of the Special Branch which it seems they were .

    And now that it looks like Haddock has been hung out to dry , it will be interesting to hear what he has to say if he ever gets near a witness box ………. 2 chances

  • rodgerdoc

    Mark

    Whether he was protected by special branch is irrelevant in this case.

    You are right haddock has been hung out to dry thats what happenes to every resource like him when there is no more use for them.

  • Mark

    roderdoc ,

    Haddock I presume can take the stand at his trial . What’s to stop him from revealing his handlers and testifying that he was acting under orders ? – genuine question …

  • John Ó Néill

    @Limerick: “It must be said that they are strangely silent about this trial. If republicans were on trial, in this manner, I suspect that they would have quite a lot to say about it.”

    Apparently RNU have issued a condemnation of what they describe as a show trial.

  • rodgerdoc

    Mark

    Nothing at all Haddock can take stand in defense and name his handlers and of need be say he was ordered by special branch to order the killing or kill tommy engish or the like, however thats a scenario and in no way would i suggest that special branch was behind the killing of english.

    Haddock himself could turn supergrass but again that causes the same problems in that what a jury would have to believe is haddocks word and his character.

    would you believe a word the man or anyone like him said – personally id find it very hard.

  • rodgerdoc

    @John O’Neil

    Don’t be fooled that statement is by far a condemnation of a”UVF show trial” but more an attempt to use the trial for more of their propaganda. Nowhere bar the title does that statement mention this trial.

  • Mark

    Excuse me rodgerdoc for getting your name wrong the last time ,

    The Special Branch have been responsible for dozens of deaths during the troubles , do you really think controlling a loyalist fued wouldn’t be right up their street .

    The law of averages suggests Mark Haddock isn’t the only SB agent in the dock today ..

  • BluesJazz

    Haddock may never have to enter the stand. Given the evidence so far, he will certainly not have to. If he does, and spills the beans on SB and MI5, then we’re into sewage.
    it won’t go that far.

  • andnowwhat

    Rdherdoc

    Loyalists are scum for whom I have no humanity, none. I don’t give a damn about defaming their “name”.

    Sorry about the CPS PPS thing.

    Given the runaround the PPS gave Thomas Devlin’s family and the PSNI regarding the evidence needed for a prosecution (and we know how that worked out), I’d like to think that the PPS have a lot more in the bag..

    Would Haddock grass on his handlers?

    Depends if he followed what happened to Billy Wright and read between the lines

  • lamhdearg

    my view, if haddock takes the stand, it will be to finish the case in the defendants favor.

  • Mark

    Fall on his iron bar to save the boys …..how noble .

  • rodgerdoc

    @ mark can’t argue with any of that that other than the use of the word control, the branch, Mi5 and other agencies may have been able to instigate certain sitiations/scenarios but definately not control them unless an isolated incident.

    @BluesJazz thats spot on to be fair

    @andnowwhat the anti loyalism is hanging out of you, however stereotyping is childish and biased. one also can’t compare the Thomas Devlin case with this one and one certainly can’t try and use some conspiracy theory regarding wright towards haddock especially a theory completely off the mark.

  • BluesJazz

    How’s that other ‘loyalist’ Mark, Mr Harbinson, doing these days?
    I’m sure Mr Haddock, and his associates, are now aware of their status in society.
    And it can get worse for them if Palace Barracks decrees.
    Republicans worked that out over a decade ago.

  • lamhdearg

    Do what he is told, and save himself.

  • lamhdearg

    If those driving this are successful, they will move onto warnock, and that means putting the leadership in the dock, i am not sure the rest of the system, will risk this happening, so i predict a collapse, something embarrassing enough to put that off, untill the uvf’s version of the boys of the old (70’s) brigade are dead, just like gerry and the heart stoppers, (la-mon) will not be touched.

  • andnowwhat

    Rodgedoc

    Off course I’m anti loyalist, I’m a catholic and thus I was on their hit list. That’s all it required.

    That they moved from purely sectarian murder to inter gang murder (see Turgon’s stats on the matter, especially relting to their “post ceasefire murders) means, to me, that they moved from being a threat to being entertainment. I’v e no respect for them or their agenda. It really is that simple for myself and many people.

    I mention the Thomas Devlin case because the family and the PSNI famously believed they had enough evidence fora conviction, the PPS said otherwise.

    I would like to think that the PPS have been equally stringent in drawing up the case we are addressing.

    Re. Haddock and Wright, we are all well aware of the suspicions around that case and others where the state did a little house cleaning

  • PaulT

    Think its a little bit more complex for Haddock or any other ‘Agent’

    I’d imagine firstly they’d have to admit to involvment in a crime/s and than prove the RUC handlers knowledge or assistance in it.

    High risk move, admit to everything and hope to bring others down with you.

    Bit like a kid being accused of breaking a window, does he deny it or admit it and claim the other kid encouraged him to throw the stone.

    Problem is if Haddock was an ‘agent’ probably the only proof is money going into his bank account, that only proves he was being paid, not what for.

    Guessing, he hasn’t got many names, phone numbers, recordings etc that he could rely upon.

    Finally the whole alcoholic, druggie thing, the witnesses only need to convince the court that they were sober when they witnessed crimes not sober all day

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    But surely these would have been the boys who festooned Mt Vernon with the UVF flags so beloved of Quincey. Although it must be stressed the UVF members who put up these UVF flags have nothing at all to do with the 36 Ulster Division, which we are told they commemorate.

  • babyface finlayson

    andnowwhat
    It looks like you are conflating ‘loyalist’ with ‘loyalist paramilitaries’.
    I’m sure that is not your intention?

  • DC

    ‘Alcoholic, Drug user, Thief = Justice’

    A guy without morals is testifying against other guys with even less morals with a view to pinning evidence on them to clip their wings of freedom.

    What’s the alternative? Doing nothing and letting them carry on regardless, letting murderers off the hook to live another day and repeat all of this?

    It may not be absolute justice but it is justice of sorts, relative justice.

  • andnowwhat

    Given the context of the thread, I would have thought it was obvious plus the words of my opening sentence, “Off course I’m anti loyalist, I’m a catholic and thus I was on their hit list. That’s all it required.”

  • Neil

    His admissions, as reported by the BBC, include confessions of being a lifelong alcoholic and user of cocaine, LSD and cannabis (among others).

    Yeah that sets him apart alright. More than a third of people have used druges in the UK though:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4229470.stm

    That’s normal people btw, not drug dealing paramilitaries, which as we all know, the UVF are, so one would imagine the proportion of Quincey’s least favourite organisation named after his most favourite flag which is just a coincidence dammit would be considerably higher.

    Enjoying your threads Quincey, you’ve brought this place back to life.

  • Things are going from bad to worse. Now the witness has admitted to lying.

  • DC

    @Neil – I was thinking that myself, plus reliance on valium was raised. That’s run of the mill stuff in good ole Norn Iron.

  • rodgerdoc

    i think people have to step back and not think about the paramilitary connections and religious/political aspect to understand what the topic is about.

    From what we have heard so far including today (yes i was watching tweets while at work) is that the first witness has contasntly stated he finds it hard to remember certain things, but yet can definately remember certain incidents, if this was any other case one has to question the reliability of the witness and i dare say if this was the star witness for a normal murder trial it probably wouldnt have even got to trial.

    no one is trying to plead the case of the defendants or indeed defend then but simply to say based on testimony so far this will be another failed supergrass trial.

  • rodgerdoc

    @JoeCanuck

    indeed there has been an admission to lying, therefore how, how can his evidence be of any value now.

  • rodgerdoc

    @ babyface finlayson

    my point exactly his first post had this

    “In fairness, the chances of getting a loyalist (never mind 2) who does not have drink and/or drug problems would be around nil.”

    i would class myself as loyalist and seldom drink alcohol and not once have had a drug

  • DC

    i would class myself as loyalist and seldom drink alcohol and not once have had a drug

    Well stand back and let the Crown do its work.

  • jthree

    *claps hands*

    These are my favourite Slugger threads when barrack room lawyers, unencumbered by either legal knowledge or even the full facts of a case, pontificate as if they were the Master of the Rolls.

    Keep ‘er lit Quincey Dougan QC and your learned friends.