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UVF 'supergrass' Gary Haggarty jailed for six years

UVF 'supergrass' Gary Haggarty jailed for six years

Gary Haggarty, 45, was sentenced for more than 200 offences, including five murders
A loyalist "supergrass" has been jailed for more than six years after admitting more than 200 offences, including five murders.Gary Haggarty, 45, was a former leader of an Ulster Volunteer Force unit in the Mount Vernon area of north Belfast. His sentence was reduced from 35 to six-and-a-half years for assistance provided to the police.He was a paid police informer for 11 years. The judge said he was involved in a "terrorist campaign" for 16 years.After turning state witness in 2009, Haggarty provided information on 55 loyalist murders and 20 attempted murders in 1,015 police interviews.
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However, only one man is to be prosecuted, for two murders, on the back of the evidence.The vast majority of people named by Haggarty in his police interviews will not face prosecution amid state concerns about a lack of supporting evidence.The judgement from Belfast Crown Court indicated that the 35-year jail term was reduced by 75% for the assistance given to prosecutors and then a further 25% for Haggarty's plea of guilty.
Haggarty was a former commander of an Ulster Volunteer Force unit in the Mount Vernon area of north Belfast
The judge said that the offences admitted by Haggarty were "ones of exceptional gravity".He also noted that Haggarty's motivation for co-operating with prosecutors was "self-interest and pragmatism" rather than because he "wishes to atone for his crimes".However, his judgement added that Haggarty's assistance "went beyond what might be described as 'normal' and, as a result of that assistance, the defendant has placed himself at considerable personal risk".The judge said that Haggarty had provided "a significant amount of information in relation to very serious criminal activity".Haggarty admitted five murders.The victims were:
Catholic Sean McParland, who was shot while babysitting in Belfast in 1994.
John Harbinson, a Protestant, who was handcuffed and beaten to death by a UVF gang on the Mount Vernon estate in north Belfast in May 1997
Catholic workmen Eamon Fox, 44 , a father of six, and Gary Convie, 24 , a father of one, shot dead as they had lunch together in a car in Belfast's North Queen Street in May 1994
Sean McDermott, a 37-year-old Catholic found shot dead in his car near Antrim in August 1994
The 202 crimes Haggarty was sentenced for were committed between 1991 and 2007.He also admitted five attempted murders, including against police officers; 23 counts of conspiracy to murder and directing terrorism.The judge also took into consideration a further 301 lesser offences in his judgement.
Belfast
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