MAN REMANDED OVER UVF DOUBLE MURDERS

James Stewart Smith remanded in custody at Belfast Magistrates' Court

James Stewart Smith remanded in custody at Belfast Magistrates’ Court

A UVF supergrass and DNA evidence have led to a man facing a court charged with the murders of two Catholic workmen in north Belfast 20 years ago.

Eamon Fox, 44, and Gary Convie, 24, were shot dead by the UVF as they sate in a at North Queen Street in May 1994.

The murder was blamed on Mount Vernon UVF which was run by Mark Haddock.

In the dock of Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Friday morning is former loyalist lifer James Stewart Smith.

The 48-year-old, of Forthriver Link, Belfast, replied “Not guilty” to the murders, a charge of attempted murder and having a firearm.

When the charges were put to him in court, he replied: “Not guilty to all charges.”

Smith, who was arrested at his home earlier this week, was remanded in custody despite pleas from his lawyer that he should be freed on bail.

There was uproar in court after bail was refused. Friends and supporters were angry that he was refused bail while IRA charge suspects were freed.

The evidence against Smith is based on the evidence of UVF supergrass Gary Haggarty who is in police protective custody.

He is currently awaiting sentence for the murder of William John Harbinson was killed in north Belfast on FA Cup final day in May 1997.

Other alleged evidence against the accused is said to include DNA from a number of items of clothing.

One man previously convicted in connection with the murders has since died.

A second man who appeared in court earlier this year charged with murder is currently on bail.

 

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