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16 October 2003 Edition

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The Fifth Column

UDA jackpot crackpot

A BELFAST LOYALIST who scooped a huge win on Britain's National Lottery has had the fickle finger of fate land him in jail for running a UDA extortion racket.

David Winston Hill, and his cousin Paul, had tried to squeeze a building site in Newtownabbey for £6,000 between June and July of last year on behalf of the South Antrim Loyalist Prisoners' Association. When the foreman refused to pay out, vehicles and equipment mysteriously self-combusted.

The UDA were lured back with phone calls to the Rathcoole Social Club and the unlucky couple were arrested when they left a phone box after making demands with menaces.

David and Paul Hill were jailed at Belfast Court last week for three-and-a-half years each.

Their defence claimed that the two had drifted into extortion for the UDA because of where they lived and socialised.

The Hills were alive with the sound of music?

UDA social and personal

ANOTHER POOR SOUL who wants us and the Saville Inquiry to believe that he joined the UDA for "social reasons" and not the sectarian mayhem is one of the British Army paratroopers responsible for the Bloody Sunday massacre.

'Soldier 203' left the Paras as a storeman in the armoury to join the UDA just three years after Bloody Sunday and obviously became such a hit on the UDA social circuit that he rose to become a battalion commander, where no doubt, he ran superb bingo sessions, whist drives, cribbage championships and domino tournaments. Mastermind probably wasn't in it.

He also said he had no hatred towards the nationalist community during Bloody Sunday. He just joined the UDA for the social life.

Challenged that he joined the UDA to kill Catholics or get others to kill Catholics, the Para/UDA man replied: "That is incorrect." Maybe he'd killed enough on Bloody Sunday.

But the sociable Battalion Commander 203 was jailed for arms offences. No doubt that was part of the UDA 'social scene' in 1975.

Brit Army scabs' air rage

FIVE Coldstream Guards from the British Army have been convicted of drunken air rage during a flight from Belfast to England after strike-breaking during last year's firefighters' dispute.

Guardsmen Neil Ambler and Michael Brierly pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court in England last week after police were called to arrest them in response to a distress call from the crew of a packed FlyBE jet after the drunken British Army scabs continuously used insulting and abusive behaviour. Three other Coldstream Guards pleaded guilty earlier.

The judge described the behaviour of the British queen's favourite 'chocolate box soldiers' as "mindless, frightening... quite despicable".

They will be sentenced later.

Cops get the boot

TWO COPS in England may wish they had joined the Scots Guards rather than the police force after being sacked for offences significantly less serious than shooting dead a Belfast teenager.

London PC David Wyvill was fined £500 by an Old Bailey judge for misconduct after pleading guilty to threatening to stand on an injured man's broken leg, threatening to run over his head with a police car and taunting him about calling an ambulance. Now Wyvill has been ordered to resign from the Metropolitan Police for his words. He has been a police officer since 1984 and stands to lose his £35,000 pension.

Up North, PC Keith Empsall was caught on film kicking and punching a student in Wakefield, Yorkshire, and has now been kicked out of the force.

If the Dirty Harrys had joined the British Army's Scots Guards with Guardsmen James Fisher and Mark Wright and shot unarmed teen Peter McBride, they'd have probably saved their jobs and pensions and got promotion as well.

Spellar takes cover

NIO MINISTER John Spellar, one of the people responsible for letting the killers of Peter McBride keep their jobs in the British Army, has taken cover behind the Ministry of Defence.

Spellar has pleaded to the Irish News that he can't make any more comments on the murder because it doesn't have anything to do with him anymore! Spellar said:

"This is an issue for the Ministry of Defence. It is not a matter that I can deal with now because I have a different range of responsibilities in government."

Spellar was asked if he would make the same decision again, knowing the depth of nationalist opinion and the belief that his decision undervalued the life of Peter McBride. The unrepentant Spellar replied:

"I have to say once again, it is now not a matter I can deal with because it is a matter for the Ministry of Defence."

Just imagine if elected reps accountable to the community took that attitude with their constituents. But then again, Spellar is accountable - just not to those of us who have to live with his decisions.

Peeler appeal

UNEMPLOYABLE RUC Peelers who took redundancy rather than transfer to the PSNI are being offered some bog standard jobs with MI5.

The Spooks think that the level of intelligence they've seen from working with the RUC marks the Peelers out as ideal for the tedious toil of watching endless hours of video footage from secret CCTV spy cameras, phone taps and bugs.

The jobs are in London but the lure of the bright lights is dimmed by the salary on offer to previously high-earning overtime munchers of the RUC. At £14,500 a year, the wages will look like lunch money to many of them. And the carrot of inflating their pay with overtime and allowances is tempered by the fact that annual rises are based on good performance.

Nevertheless, the job does offer "bar and gym facilities" - the former an important part of RUC culture; the latter probably eliciting 'Who's Jim?'

An Phoblacht
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